Spelling reform

Ryan   Thursday, November 13, 2003, 03:20 GMT
Spelling reform is stupid. As soon as you start spelling them one way, people will start pronouncing them a different way.
Jim   Thursday, November 13, 2003, 04:19 GMT
That, Ryan, is a very good point.
Clark   Thursday, November 13, 2003, 05:17 GMT
yes, but let's make French the written language for all English-speakers!
Juan   Thursday, November 13, 2003, 06:49 GMT
One thing I like about the English language is the fact that it did not complicate itself in its written form. In Spanish we have accent marks that indicate where the stress falls in a word and countless of grammar rules that I can't be bothered remembering. I think French writing is similar in this aspect, perhaps even worse then in Spanish because I notice a lot of funny symbols or signs that I have never seen before.
Clark   Thursday, November 13, 2003, 06:58 GMT
Can someone please translate this for me;

"Chercherait à irakiser le conflit pour s'en désangager."

The reason I ask is because I have talked about how flexible English is in creating new words on the spot from existing words, or making nouns into verbs or other stuff like that. If I am not mistaken, I think the French language can do something similar. When I saw "irakiser" I thought to myself that the French are creating verbs from nouns as well.
Clark   Thursday, November 13, 2003, 07:03 GMT
Here are the French letters with accents (I hope that I have got all of them):

Mike   Thursday, November 13, 2003, 18:09 GMT
What would happen if the word ''curse'' became a curse word? how would you even be able to say someone was cursing when they said it, or any curse word without cursing.
Jim   Thursday, November 13, 2003, 23:58 GMT

Yôû mëàn thât wê dôn't hàvè tô bôthér wîth àll thësë âççênt màrks lïkë théy hàvè ïn Frénçh. Yès, I àgrëë, ït's â véry gôôd thîng.
Richard   Friday, November 14, 2003, 01:07 GMT
Jim, I guess they spell them both as ''purfekt'' just because this system isn't perfect.

Reformed spelling

Jim, ie ges thae spel them boeth az ''purfekt'' just beekuz this sistum izunt purfekt.
Jim   Friday, November 14, 2003, 03:16 GMT
My suggested reform:

I ges dhay spel dhem boath az "purfekt" just bicaus dhis sistym izn't purfect.


Well, no system is perfect but some are better than others. Certainly there are problems with my system but at least I've attempted to eliminate code-overlap. My system has a couple of other things going for it over theirs in my humble opinion. The first is that it includes those phonemes that they seem to have forgotten. The second is that it is more closely based on traditional spelling.

{in my version}

Wel, no sistym iz purfect but sum ar beter dhan udherz. Surtynly dhair ar problymz with mi sistym but at leest I'v ytemptyd tu ilimynait coad-oaverlap. Mi sistym haz a cupyl ov udher thingz goaing for it oaver dhairz in mi humbyl opiniun. Dha furst iz dhat it incluudz dhoaz foaneemz dhat dhay seem tu hav fergotyn. Dha sekynd iz dhat it iz mor cloasly baisd on trydishynyl speling.

{in their version}

Wel, noe sistum iz purfekt but sum ar betur than uthurz. Surtunlee ther ar problumz with mie sistum but at leest iev utemptud too ilimunaet koed-oevurlap. Mie sistum haz u kupul ov uthur thingz goeing for it oevur therz in mie humbul opinyun. Thu furst iz that in inkluedz thoez foeneemz that thae seem too hav furgotun. Dhu sekund iz that it iz mor kloeslee baesd on trudishunul speling.
Jim   Friday, November 14, 2003, 03:25 GMT
There's a typo above. They don't use "dhu" for "the" they use "thu" and "thee".

Except for the "dh" for /TH/ and the "y" for /../ or /./ I think my system is easier to read. They use "th" and "u" which makes for easier reading but completely ignors the distinction between phonemes.
Jack Doolan   Friday, November 14, 2003, 05:29 GMT
Spelling reform like this Truspel is a WOFTAM - waste of f- - -ing time and money - by people who should have better things to occupy themselves. Perhaps watching grass grow or helping old ladies to cross streets. Any system devised for residents of New York will not be suitable for people in Atlanta and still less Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, India, England, Scotland, Fiji, you name the place. One of the reasons that English written in Nova Scotia is intelligible in all these places is that the spelling remains unreformed. I don't object to Americans using "color" instead of "colour". That is perfectly sensible. It is a minor change that is readily understood. But "purfekt" looks like an illiteralism.

Another very good reason is that English contains many words that sound the same but have entirely different meanings. In spoken language, it is not difficult to understand by context. In written English, if the distinction in spelling is removed it may be impossible to tell what the subject is. Compare "baited" as in a fishhook and "bated" as in breath.

If the reason is so that children may learn to spell more easily, this sounds at first like a good one. But IMO someone who can't spell the normal English vocabulary under existing norms is unlikely to be able to do so under Truspel. The reality is that many children are good at arithmetic but not so good at languages, others are good at languages and not so good at arithmetic. Some are not very good at either, and some are good at both. No amount of jiggery-pokery with the language is going to change that.
Jim   Friday, November 14, 2003, 07:35 GMT
But, Jack, isn't "f- - -ing" a kind of reformed spelling?

I think that the point about different dialects is a good one. I don't think we need spelling reform and this is one of the reasons that it would actually be a bad idea.

I think I'll go look for some grass to watch grow.
Simon   Friday, November 14, 2003, 08:26 GMT
British English is gradually becoming more and more like American English so soon we will all be speaking the same kind of English anyway.
Ryan   Friday, November 14, 2003, 20:48 GMT
I don't think this is true, Simon. Even though spelling might change, accentual change is probably increasing. The old London accents are more similar to American English than the Estuary accents with all the glottal stops and "th" frontings that kids in the UK seem to be speaking nowadays.