Whatever the case, it is through evolution that things will change. For better or worse, this evolution has been slow and I reckon it will continue to be so for some while yet. I'm not sure what John's on about when he's talking "should". This evolution has a life of it's own and is at the direction of nobody. Perhaps he's refering to what spelling reformists should be aiming at: how they should direct their efforts.
I very much doubt that reforms such as
"Why = Y
Ok = K
m8 = mate
g8 = gate ..."
etc. will ever be accepted in anything but casual writing but "center", "coz", "-ise", "-isation" & even the "-z" pluralisation/possessive have potential. On the other hand, I could be wrong.
Why do you think that "-ise" & "-isation" should be standardised making "-ize", "-ization" incorrect? Isn't the latter more phonetic? Why not extend "-ize" to "exercise", "surprise", etc.?
Like Simon points out, you might write "hiz" for "his" but "he'z"? Surely "he'z" would be "he's".
However, it seems you're going in two opposite directions: ruling out "-ize", "-ization" on one hand whilst allowing "coz" & "Paul'z" on the other.
You write "Homophones would require the invention of completely new words to replace the 'duplicates.'" Why? In most case the context should be enough to indicate what's meant. When it's not clarify your meaning, it would only be what you'd have to do anyway in speech. In English we've got so many different words that are spelt the same anyway, some of them are even pronounced differently, they don't cause so much trouble.
"I wound a bandage around my wound. The wind blew and unravelled it so I had to wind it again. It was so windy a tear came to my eye so I had to tear a bit of the bandage off to wipe it away."
I say put up with the homophones nobody's suggesting putting an accent on "wound", "tear", "wind", etc. We know one word from the next as well as we know wrong from right, right from left and left from brought along with us.
you said :
'In English we've got so many different words that are spelt the same anyway, some of them are even pronounced differently, they don't cause so much trouble.'
By the words spelled the same way but pronounced differently, do yo mean "Homographs" ?
You are right, those would be homographs. Homophones sound alike but are spelled differently. Homonyms sound alike and are spelled alike (the same word!) but with different meanings.
I think you are right about being able to figure out the meaning from the context. But what is the goal? Isn't it to make English simpler, not more complicated? If all words were spelled phonetically, wouldn't that just be more confusing?
For example, take the words to, two, and too. Let's use the phonetic spelling "tu."
"I'd like to buy two tutus, too." becomes
"I'd like tu buy (bi?) tu tutus, tu."
Isn't that even worse? Maybe it just seems that way to me as a native speaker. (OK, a tutu is a bad example but I couldn't resist ;)
Ware is the warehouse for the cloze I ware?
Yes, "homographs", that's the word.
What do you mean "the same word"? If they have different meanings, aren't they different words?
Yeah, I think the goal would be to make English simpiler. I don't believe that if all words were spelt phonetically, it would be more confusing. Sure, you'd have all homonyms spelt the same but there'd be no homographs which weren't also homonyms. I think things woould be easier. In speech we have to deal with distinguishing between homonyms, it's not too hard.
"I woz wauking bi and I thaut I'd bi tu tutuz for mi dauter but the tutuz wer tu big so I had to take them bak."
It ain't too hard really. I think it's easier (or at least it would be if we weren't used to traditional spelling).
Your second example is interesting though. It seems that for you "clothes" and "close" are homonyms. I pronounce them differently. For me there's a voiced "th" (as in "the") in "clothes". Also, it seems you pronounce the "w" of "warehouse" the same as the "wh" of "where". Me too but there are those who'd pronounce them differently. I think these distinctions should be kept.
"Whare iz dhe warehous for dhe cloadhz I ware?" ... or something ...
You said in a couple of posts earlier that there are too many homographs in English.
To the best of my knowledge as a learner, there are far too many homophones but not many homographs in English. I know 'bow' and 'bow'. Can you give me some more examples of homographs ?
Can you give me some examples of Homonyms ? I know 'see' and 'see'.
You wrote in a couple of posts earlier that they are too many homographs in English.
To the best of my knowledge as a learner, there are many homophons but not many homographs in English. I know "bow" and "bow". Do you have more examples ?
Do you have examples for homonyms ? I know 'see' and 'see'.
sorry for sending the post twice.
A couple homographs:
"row" [rOu] [rau]
"sow" [sOu] [sau]
"minute" ['mi n(i)t] [mai 'nu:t]
So, there are not too manyj of them.
A few homonym examples off the top of my head:
pen - enclosure or writing tool
page - part of a book or a messenger
jar - container or to shake suddenly
staple - basic need or thing to attach papers together
cow - herd animal or to intimidate
Jim, Deciding on a standard pronunciation would certainly be a major issue for spelling reform. Maybe reforms should only be applied to the most confusing aspects, such as the "ough" problem. In other words, each combination of letters should have a standard pronunciation (which might vary by region). But each pronunciation would be allowed to be spelled more than one way. So decide that "ough" must always be pronounced "uff" and still spell rough and tough the same, but change cough to coff, etc. But keep wear and ware spelled the same.
No more homonyms ?
Please some more. I need to brag at school.
I think deciding on a standard pronunciation would be impossible. There is no standard and no false one should be imposed. This is the major problem with any phonetic spelling reform proposal. I think that this is probably the fattest nail in the coffin of phonetic spelling reform.
You could have everyone spelling according to their own accent or try to come up with something more complex. I think that you were illuding to this with "each combination of letters should have a standard pronunciation (which might vary by region). But each pronunciation would be allowed to be spelled more than one way."
For example, where "sch" is pronounced like the "sh" in "sheep" spell it this way, where it's pronounced like the "sch" in "school" spell it "sk" (or "sc") but keep the "sch" in "schedule" to indicate that there are two ways of pronouncing it.
I don't know that I said that there were too many. Saying "too many" seems to imply that there's something wrong with them. I brought them up to show that they were no big problem. Here are some more.
And a few links.
Thank you Jim
I added your homographs to my list.
The links are interesting.
I hope the spelling of such words as 'foreign' changed. We can write it like 'forin'.
As English spelling is a complete mess, I think in English exams such as Toefl,...etc, the correctors aren't too hard with the minor spelling mistakes.