Amerika:The smartest cuntry on erth.

It’s things like this that make me want to live in the middle of nowhere and have no contact with the outside world. I don’t know how much more dumbing down I can take.

You might not know that it is customary to provide an extract or two from an article and to present an argument. Just thought I’d mention it, as it will get more people to respond to you.

That aside, I saw that article earlier today and I couldn’t agree more. I think we’re less than a decade away from 4 + 4 = 9 is close enough.

The spelling thing comes and goes but simplification never really catches on.

I do remember reading my hometown newspaper on microfilm from the 1930s. Newspaper spelling at the time was on some kind of crusade to rid the world of ugh. It was full of thos, thrus, nites, thots, and some you just don’t see anymore, like brot and thoro.

Gosh, thanks a veritable pantsload… Now my head hurts and I fear that only beating it vigorously against a cement wall will improve matters.

Hey, ignorant illiterate fucktards–how good are you at reading Middle English? Ever think that one of the reasons you can’t read it easily is because standardized spelling is one of the benefits we reaped as a result of the printing press popularizing incidental reading? Ever read letters written by early Americans which featured highly individualized spelling? Ever hear of “word recognition” and its relationship to reading comprehension?

Kornbluth was an optimist…

Can I get a few billion more of these? —> :rolleyes: :dubious: :smack: :rolleyes:

Are you pitting the movement, or the article? Both deserve a hearty pitting, IMNSHO. I mean, holy fucking crapmonkeys on a stick! It was bad enough to write one introductory sentence in “simplified” spelling, but did they really have to go and write EVERY OTHER FUCKING PARAGRAPH that way? Good lord, I got a headache just trying to read it. :smack:

Since spelling is just an arbitrary approximation, I don’t see why simplifying it is pittable. If I had the ability to change it all in a flash, I’d dump the Roman alphabet entirely and go with something like the 80-character Cherokee syllabary. It might make the development of ASCII a bit trickier, but it’s an overall easier (which when it comes to arbitrary choices means better) system.

It’s only inertia that causes English to cling to ough and such, not intelligence.

I fear this “newspeak” movement…

Oh the horror!! Learning to spell and read the “old fashioned” way.

I had to learn to spell!! So all these stup… I mean, minimally exceptional kids should too.

It’s one thing to “shorthand” words while jotting notes for your self, but not in communications with others. I am not referring to things such as: IANAL and IMHO as used on this message board or LOL in e-mails to friends. I would never use “u”, “enuf”, “thru” or “thot” in a business communication or in a report.

Beware of Doug, your comment of newspapers from the 30’s using shortened words on a campaign to rid the world of “ugh”, was not necessarily the desire to have simpler spelling, but back then, all news print type set was all set by hand. The less to set, the better, and you could get your paper out the door faster.

With the age of instant messengers and text messaging, kids aren’t using correct or full spellings of words in more of their everyday communications. It is overriding the education of really learning to grasp the English language. So, I guess, in the future, the ability to spell correctly and use grammar well will be the defining sign of a “classic” education.

This movement reeks of the people who are trying to do away with the concept of “winners” and “losers” so the slow kids don’t feel bad about themselves.

I think this would be double plus ungood.

Hey, when the President consistently mangles a simple word like “nukular”, what’d you expect? :wink:

Well, some languages have modernized their spelling and some have not. Which is better? Depends. Enlgish is probably spoken over to vast an area (with too many different pronunciations) to do this effectively. But who knows? Maybe it would better standardize pronunciation.

I think you’re misunderstanding what simplified spelling would mean. Spelling would still be standardized. Even though, you’d write “thru” instead of “through”, for example, you’d still have to spell the word “thru” every time.

And we’ve had reform to simplify spelling before. We write “color” instead of “colour”, “wagon” instead of “waggon”, “draft” instead of “draught”, “defense” instead of “defence”, and so on. These changes were introduced to make things easier to spell. Are we stupider than the British, for example, because we spell things differently?

I’m sorry, but the majority of the “newspell” words in that story were completely nonsensical and were actually less intuitive than the correct spellings. I have no intrinsic issue with dropping off the redundant “g” in “waggon,” but the rest of your examples aren’t indicative of simplification at all, except for maybe “draught” to “draft.”

Besides, the reason why English is adopted so readily by other cultures is that, like Latin, it adapts easily to neologism and the incorporation of words from other languages coupled with English pre- and suffixes. I watch a lot of movies in different languages (and use translators fairly often in my work) and it strikes me how often words like “cell phone” and “tv” and the like are spoken in English, usually because trying to transliterate these words into other languages is so difficult. I once saw an example (might have been in one of the SF magazines, can’t recall at the moment) of why other cultures borrow English words–the phrase “jet lag” in German came out to a paragraph… English is a polyglot melange language, which is why it has idiosyncratic spelling and pronunciation. It’s a mishmosh of words from many languages, with a rich history and fascinating etymology–I sincerely doubt we’d gain a damned thing from standardizing spelling in such a stupidy manner that makes it impossible to reason out how a word came to be by parsing out its individual parts.

Soh maybee a fyoo kidz wood lern tu reed fastur iff wee chaynjd thuh speling uv wurdz, but wood thay lern az mutch abowt the orujin uv the wurdz thay wood bee reeding? I dowt it. Morr lyklee millyunz uv uthur awlreddee machoor peepul wood bee ayleeyunaytid foer noe reezun. :rolleyes:

Language shifts naturally on its own, in response to changing needs in communication. Attempts to hurry the process along when there’s no real need to do so doesn’t work. Esperanto, anyone?

Besides, who would decide what the “improved” spelling should be? Are we going to leave it to some back east dumbass who’ll insist the spelling of my state should be Oereegawn? Fuck that–people who can’t pronounce words correctly in charge of spelling? This makes sense?

Personally I could read the simplified spelling sentences very easily, and pretty close to as fast as I could read normal spelling sentences. It may be just that I am exceptionally talented (heh!) but I doubt it. I think that actually you are only finding it difficult because you are so busy frothing at the mouth in reactionary horror you are just not trying.

Indeed, those criticising the standardised spelling movement in this thread seem to make a number of idiotic “arguments”, most of which amount to: “I’m used to this system so it’s good” or “I suffered through learning something that is unnecessarily complex, so everyone else should to” or “anyone who thinks that a system could be simplified must want to simplify it because they are stupid or think children are”.

Not to mention a number of dumbasses who think that current spelling is necessary to trace etymology while ignoring the fact that much etymology involves tracing words and word fragments back through periods when they weren’t spelled the same (or there was no standard spelling at all).

This is just a “human interest” story about some tards with zero influence. Don’t get your panteez (new spelling?) in a wad.

Local pronunciation and accent have as much to do with it as anything else; (as a Brit), whenever I see the American spelling color, I can’t help inwardly voicing it as ‘koh-lore’ (in the same sense that colon is ‘koh-lon’). A more logical spelling simplification would be to render it culler.

And that’s the problem with brute force spelling simplifications - changing night to nite by popular usage is just fine; that’s how language develops anyway. Getting a committee to decide on a ‘simplified’ spelling (that in many cases isn’t any more natural than the spelling it replaces), then impose it, is just pointless and stupid.

Another example is “thot”. I’m not even sure that I’m right in thinking that it is a simplified spelling of “thought” (is it?) “Thot” bears very little resemblance to how I pronounce “thought” and so, although it has fewer letters, it is not a simplification.

To quote David Crystal from his book The English Language - “There are only avout 400 everyday words in English whose spelling is wholly irregular[…]The trouble is that many of these words are amongst the most frequently used words in the language”.

He goes on to say - “A major American study, published in the early 1970s, carried out a computer analysis of 17,000 words and showed that no less than 84% of words were spelled according to a regular pattern, and that only 3% were so unpredictable they would have to be learned by heart.”

The problem with trying to spell words as they are pronounced is which pronunciation you use. Words were originally spelt the way they were pronounced, until the advent of printing. But the way they have been pronounced has changed over the years. Do we have another radical rewriting of the way English is spelt in 100 years too?

Take a nice easy word like name. It was originally pronounced with the a sound as in calm. Today we would spell it something like neim or naym. Are we to change all words so they are spelt as they sound?

“Thot” is not from the article in question, so it is not appropriate to use it as an example of simplified standard spelling.

Secondly, no standard spelling system (traditional or simplified) can cope with regional accents. Your antipodean pronunciation of the word “thought” is never going to be the same as the pronunciation of that word by someone from the States no matter how you spell it, and it is not the aim of simplified spelling to attempt to change that.

No system is ever going to be perfect but that is not an excuse of itself for ignoring the possibility of improving it. You’re throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

“Thought” is actually a good example. Sure, no spelling of that word is going to be able to cover the myriad regional ways of pronouncing the “ou” part. So whatever standardised spelling might be agreed upon to represent that part of the word is going to be pronounced differently by different people around the world (just as you now pronounce it “aw” while some Americans might pronounce it “oh”).

But any way you cut it, the “gh” is totally redundant. So whatever bit might be chosen to represent the “ou” in the middle, spelling “thought” as “th[ou]t” is a simplification.

Before this debate goes any further let me say this, lest you get the wrong idea about my position: standardised simplified spelling ain’t never going to happen. I know that. The world’s too conservative, people are very precious about language and anyway goodness knows I don’t like things being imposed upon me by the guv’mint any more than the next guy.

But nonetheless I can’t help but feel that the issue hits a wall of illogical, half-baked reactionary pooh-poohing whenever raised that is out of step with rationality.



Ndooby rlealy craes if you slepl tnighs pcfeerlcty. All taht metatres is taht you get the fsirt and lsat lrteets rhigt and wath’s in the mdilde dsneo’t metatr waht oedrr you pacle tehm in, the sntneece can siltl be eialsy raed.

Brian Griffin: Hey Quagmire, isn’t country spelled with a u?
Quagmire: Not anymore gigity gigity.