Think about and compare the pronunciation of these four words:
It has also been said that the word "ghot" could be another way of saying 'FISH', if you follow the illogical way of English pronunciation:
'gh' as in the sound found in 'rough' (F)
'o' as in the sound found in 'women' (i)
't' as in the sound found in 'nation' (sh)
Paulski, I guess you are a newcomer on this forum, not knowing that the issue of English spelling has been over-discussed to the point that anybody even mentioning this issue risks being lynched. :-) This may explain the above reaction.
By the way, taking your four examples, they seem nonsensical just from the point of view of present-day English. It should be borne in mind that the present-day spelling reflects the way the individual words were pronounced around Chaucer's time, or slightly afterwards. It seems that since that time no compelling evidence has been able to force speakers of English to change their orthography. So we'd better take the best out of it. English spelling may be illogical, but it has a great way of distinguishing homophones (e.g. buy/bye/by, meat/meet, etc.). So it is maybe the most unambiguous of all spellings. This may make its inconsistencies more bearable. :-)
The funniest thing I realised, though, is that it is usually native sepakers who complain about English spelling, rather than non-natives. So why have the former not bothered so far to change a system they are uneasy with?
Sorry, native sPEAkers...
Sorry, but violence is not permitted in this forum whatever the provocation. ;-)
Sorry, no intention to lynch anybody, I have just reported the general feeling here (judging from the posts at some other threads). ;-)
My initial comment was complete and utter rubbish (trash, tripe...), I admit.
However, my apparent ignorance has been exceeded by others' reaction to it - see post #2.
Easterner you're 100% correct.
Now i'll act as moderator and close this thread before we degenerate any further.
"The funniest thing I realised, though, is that it is usually native sepakers who complain about English spelling, rather than non-natives."
That's because illogical spelling makes little difference to non-natives who don't learn correct pronunciation and migrants who have always mispronounced English words.
>>That's because illogical spelling makes little difference to non-natives who don't learn correct pronunciation and migrants who have always mispronounced English words.<<
That may be true for some foreigners, but as discussed on earlier threads, some others (educated professionals with a solid linguistic background) seem to spell better than some native speakers. It depends on one's degree of proficiency and literacy, I guess (both ways). As for spelling reform, there have been more attempts for that than can be counted on both hands, but the very speakers who have been complaining about the illogical spelling have not wanted to buy any of them (or maybe the lobbying for it was not very strong, I don't know). :-) By the way, the IPA seems to be the only alphabet that can accounts for all English sounds in a satisfactory way.
It's exactly the same for the french orthography: french people complain but the others don't. And finally it's easier to deduce the pronounciation of a word in french than in english. French always say that their spelling system is the worst on earth. I don't think so. English spelling system is a little worse and the winner, the worst of all, is the gaelic spelling system (cf. "Irish" coll. Teach Yourself).
Ok thread re-open.
By the way I wasn't 'complaining' about the spelling/pronunciation of my language. It doesn't bother me.....
<<the worst of all, is the gaelic spelling system >>
I tried to learn some Gaelic but I was a bit disappointed by the spelling :(
It seems the Scottish is the worst (most traditional) among them (correct me if I'm wrong).
I don't have enough zeal to play that "guess how to pronounce the word" game again. Especially if I've got no reason to learn the language except for my curiosity and I'll probably never met a native speaker.
Is the traditional spelling one of the reasons that these languages decline?
I don't know for sure what you mean here. Gaelic spelling is difficult to get to grips with as it is not a phonetic language and many letters are silent.
The best place to go for practise is the capital of the Western Isles:
Steornabhagh (which is Stornoway and pronounced as such).
Here's a link relating to English spelling and grammar standards among British students. A-Level standard is Advanced Level and an examination taken at the age of 17/18, prior to university entrance. Taken from a British newspaper today 03/11:
Doesn't say much for standards of English among native speakers does it?
I liked the bit about using textspeak in exams.....I know this happens more and more. ;-)