The propa way to spel

Craig   Monday, May 03, 2004, 02:50 GMT
These people are crazy. Do they speak English? I think they are inventing a language. Poor people! They've never learnt English.
Bill   Monday, May 03, 2004, 03:18 GMT
Who's crazy?
lisa chen   Wednesday, May 05, 2004, 05:26 GMT
Can anyone kindly tell me whether mail and male pronounced same? The most phonetic books said yes but I listened to the tapes they seem to be different
Smith   Wednesday, May 05, 2004, 10:07 GMT
''male'' and ''mail'' are' pronounced the same. They don't seem to be different to me, they sound the same to me. Yes, they're homonyms and homophones.
Homonyms   Thursday, May 06, 2004, 01:09 GMT
Smith is correct.
Jim   Thursday, May 06, 2004, 06:34 GMT
male & mail = [meil] ... both the same.


toward(s) [t..wo:(r)d(s)] verses [to:(r)d(s)]
caramel [k@r..m.l] verses [ka:rm..l]
half [ha:f] verses [h@f]
laugh [la:f] verses [l@f]
vase [va:z] verses [veiz] verses [veis]
dictionary [dikS..nri(:)] verses [dikS..neri(:)]
leisure [leZ..(r)] verses [li:Z..(r)]
quart [kwo:(r)t] verses [ko:(r)t]
from [from] verses [fr^m]
of [ov] verses [^v]
was [woz] verses [w^z]
want [wont] verses [w^nt]
what [Wot] verses [wot] verses [w^t] verses [hw^t]
because [b..ko:s] verses [b..k^z]
yeah [je..] verses [je]
fortune [fo:tSu:n] verses [fo:rtS..n]
been [bi:n] verses [bin]
tomato [] verses [t..meitOu]
new [nju:] verses [nu:]
species [spi:si(:)z] verses [spi:shi(:)z]
pecan [pi:k@n] verses [p..ka:n]
route [ru:t] verses [raut]
twenty [twenti(:)] verses [tw^nti(:)]
realtor [] verses [ri:l..t..r]
phonetic [fonetik] verses [f..netik]
etc. etc. etc.

The list goes on and on. This is one of the big problems in having any spelling reform. Everyone pronounces things differently. Are we going to favour one accent over all others or are we going to have everyone spell things vastly differently? Both options are problematic. It's probably best not to mess things up.


I agree with Smith. "Boath" is better than "bothe". "Bothe" looks like it should be [bOuTH] (or maybe [boTH]) not [bOuth].


Ingglish reminds us "Earlier in the thread 'choklit' was suggested and Jim asked, Why not 'choclat'." and attempts an answer "Because it's [Tsa:klit] not [Tsa:kl@t]. I'm not sure what [Tsa:kl@t] is."

I can tell you what [Tsa:kl@t] is: nothing. Same as [Tsa:klit]: nothing. Let's just correct him a little. I agree that it's not [Tsa:kl@t] but nor is it [Tsa:klit].

I'm not about to quibble about the fact that it's [tS] not [Ts]. It is, however, worth mentioning that the first vowel is pronounced [o] not [a:] by those outside of North America. But that's not the problem either: it's the last vowel which is in question.

Is it [tSoklit]/[tSa:klit] or is it [tSokl@t]/[tSa:kl@t]? The answer: it's neither. What it is is [tSokl..t]/[tSa:kl..t]. If in any doubt, click on the link below and feast your eyes on the schwa between the "l" and the "t".

There is no schwa in the alphabet we use so what we usually do is represent it with one of the vowel letters we do have. As far as I can see there is no reason to favour one over another ... at least none better than etymology.

Why change it more than necessary? Why use "i" when "a" would do? "Choclat" fits better with traditional orthography than "choklit". It fits better with how the word is spelt in other languages. It makes more sense.

So, no, it's not [tSokl@t]/[tSa:kl@t] but it's not [tSoklit]/[tSa:klit] either. It's [tSokl..t]/[tSa:kl..t]. Also, keep in mind the fact that [k] is normally spelt with a "c" before a consonant letter and let me ask again. How is "choklit" any better in the slightest degree than "choclat"?



How about "eze" and "pleze" instead of "eaz" and "pleaz": it's just dropping a different letter? Also look at what you're suggesting for "pleasure". Now we've got "please" and "pleasure": see the connexion. You could try "pleze" and "plezher": there's still an obvious connexion. If you have "pleaz" and "plezher" the connexion's not so easy to see. The words are related you know.

Change all "s"s pronounced as [z] to "z"s ... that's a big big reform in itself. The voicing of "s" is very regular and pretty predictable. Is it such a problem? How far are we going to take this reform. How far is far enough? How far is too far?

Also regular and predictable are "-sion" and "-ism". You're talking a very extensive reform. The further you push things the more problems you face.


By the way, how about "phrase"? Now we've got "phase" and "phrase" verses "chase", "case" and "base" (you can't count "vase"). Three to two. Can you really claim that [eiz] for "-ase" is the exception and [eis] the rule? Three to two ... hardly decisive.


Why is "ul" better than "ol", "el", "al" and "le"?

Betelgeuse - Beetuljoose verses Beeteljooss

Yeah, why not use "el" as in the original? I think "Beetel-" beats "Beetul-". Though if you're using "el" then you could just use "Betel-" as in the original and rely on the magic "e".

Is "-jooss" better than "-joose"? Well, yes "-jooss" is easier and "-joose" could be misread as [dZu:z].

I like Ghoti's idea "Beeltejuice" as in the juice of a beetle ... this is how I'd imagine the word should be spelt ... though if you're respelling "beetle" and/or "juice" it won't work.

Pistol Star - Pistulstar verses Pistul Star

Yes, they're apart now why stick them together? "Pistul Star" is better than "Pistulstar". But again: why is "ul" better than "ol", "el", "al" and "le"? There no reason to change it at all.
Willy   Friday, May 07, 2004, 01:35 GMT
What kind of English is this? People are not spelling accurately. Is it hard to spell as in Latin.

by/buy ---bay

bay ---bey

Why is "they" not spelled "thay"? Where's the pronunciation rule? Oh I guess here's no reform, yet. But many people think about it. English is not invented by computers. It's made by people. But these people never thought about accordance. They spelled similarly from messy old spelling.

It's a haphazard, a exposure, a mess, a thread, a disparity, etc...

These critics won't finish.
Joe   Saturday, May 08, 2004, 14:03 GMT
Invented acronyms are not always pronounced logically though. ''laser'' may be pronounce logically but we pronounce ''scuba'' as [sku:b..] and not [skju:b..], why? ''scuba'' is an acronym for self-contained underwater breathing apparatus. We don't say ''ku:b.. for ''cuba''.
coningham   Saturday, May 08, 2004, 14:26 GMT
Oh,my god!
Are these really English??
I am a chinese!Which English should i choose to learn!!!
Joe   Saturday, May 08, 2004, 18:10 GMT
Who came up with the illogical pronunciation for ''scuba''? The inventor said [sku:b..] and not [skju:b..].
Bill   Sunday, May 09, 2004, 23:02 GMT

I'll respell that.


I don't know about you, But it spelled this way works for me.
Til'   Monday, May 10, 2004, 00:17 GMT
Here's some more information about ''til' '', ''till'' and ''until''.

Quote-''Usage Note: Till and until are generally interchangeable in both writing and speech, though as the first word in a sentence until is usually preferred: Until you get that paper written, don't even think about going to the movies. ·Till is actually the older word, with until having been formed by the addition to it of the prefix un-, meaning “up to.” In the 18th century the spelling 'till became fashionable, as if till were a shortened form of until. Although 'till is now nonstandard, 'til is sometimes used in this way and is considered acceptable, though it is etymologically incorrect.''
Jim   Monday, May 10, 2004, 00:51 GMT

Why [sku:b..] and not [skju:b..] for "scuba" when we say [kju:b..] for "Cuba"? Good question: perhaps it's got something to do with simplifying consonant clusters. Why do Americans say [nu:] instead of [nju:] for "new"? The cluster [kj] isn't so hard but [skj] is a little more complex. However, though it may be more complex it's still not impossible: there exists the word "skew" pronounced [skju:].


Spelt this way it would work for me. Your respelling, Bill, surprise surprise, doesn't. This, of course, is my very point. There are too many words like this to allow for spelling to be based strictly on pronuncation.
Dikshunerry   Monday, May 10, 2004, 01:12 GMT
''Milliterry'' is better than ''millitry'' for ''military''. Why spell the word based on the lazy pronunciation.
Jim   Monday, May 10, 2004, 01:17 GMT
It's no more lazy than [nu:] for "new".