Interesting site about English spelling reform

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Stan
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Interesting site about English spelling reform

Postby Stan » 2005-06-10, 18:21

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Postby JackFrost » 2005-06-11, 0:52

Website doesn't exist.
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Postby Stan » 2005-06-11, 0:55

JackFrost wrote:Website doesn't exist.

huh? yes it exists!

http://www.freespeling.com
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Postby JackFrost » 2005-06-11, 1:08

Then type the URL right. :roll:

Sorry, I'm not too big on having teenaged-style "e-mail", "SMS", or other craps like that into all spellings of the English language. Complaining that you can't use English right just because the spellings are weird and awkward. So that shouldn't give you the right to tell the speakers to change it so you can use it right. If you don't like a certain feature (or a few features) of the language, then quit speaking or learning it. Don't tell us to change it because the feature "A" of that language should be like this, not like that in your own opinion.

By the way, "you" doesn't refer to you, Stancel.
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Postby Stan » 2005-06-11, 1:14

JackFrost wrote:Then type the URL right. :roll:

Sorry, I'm not too big on having teenaged-style "e-mail", "SMS", or other craps like that into all spellings of the English language. Complaining that you can't use English right just because the spellings are weird and awkward. So that shouldn't give you the right to tell the speakers to change it so you can use it right. If you don't like a certain feature (or a few features) of the language, then quit speaking or learning it. Don't tell us to change it because the feature "A" of that language should be like this, not like that in your own opinion.

By the way, "you" doesn't refer to you, Stancel.

The missing "l" in the site name "freespeling.com" is intentional.

And I can spell my own language fine, thank you very much. I was just sharing an interesting site I had come across, spelling reform is not intended for lazy English speakers, it's intended for people who want to learn English.

Do you not agree that the pronunciations of words like "colonel" are ridiculous (the word "colonel" has no r, yet it is pronounced like it does) ?
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Postby JackFrost » 2005-06-12, 2:40

No, it's not because of the missing "l". When I click on the first link, it doesn't work as it is shown.



The reason for those words to be spelt that way is traditional. It reflects the language spoken when first written down. Just like French. That's why I prefer to keep the spelling as it is.
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Postby reflexsilver86 » 2005-06-12, 5:17

Perhaps it's ridiculous, but a spelling reform isn't going to happen. Another problem is there are so many regional accents and dialects of English that change word pronunciation, so for example while one person would pronounce the t in "often" another might wonder why that T is in fact even there. Other areas slur their pronunciation ever so slightly so a T sound becomes similar to a D.

Sure, there are words like colonel that are borrowed from other languages and to many people don't make sense. But it would be opening up a whole can of worms, really.

And when I see people who can't even get simple words like "they're" and "their" right, I think trying to cater to this crowd is the wrong idea.

There's always going to be errors in spelling; that's why they created the wonderful spell check (which doesn't always work right!)

I don't believe in cheapening the language because some people can't learn it properly. And this has nothing to do with the addition of new words, but when you start wanting to spell things like it belongs in a text message that we send from our cell phones, then it starts getting ridiculous.

And if French ever underwent a reform to spell things the way they're actually pronounced... well it would be a lot easier to read, but the written language would go from beautiful to ugly. And being that I've learned to cope with the insane French third person plural verb tense, which adds an -ent to the end of everything and it isn't even pronounced, I can't complain at all about English. ;)

And on a related note, I don't know why but I keep reading "speling" in my head as if the e is now a long e.

Like I said, too many of these proposed reforms are based on a certain form of pronunciation. I know people who pronounce the word desperate with that middle vowel; and some of the stuff, like forty-forti, that just seems overly (or would that be "Overli") superfluous to me.

And I sure as heck didn't read KONSHIENSHUSS right the first time. It looked like a cross between Japanese and German to me. :lol:
Last edited by reflexsilver86 on 2005-06-12, 5:23, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Stan » 2005-06-12, 5:18

JackFrost wrote:No, it's not because of the missing "l". When I click on the first link, it doesn't work as it is shown.



The reason for those words to be spelt that way is traditional. It reflects the language spoken when first written down. Just like French. That's why I prefer to keep the spelling as it is.

while I'm not very serious about this spelling reform stuff, I think you're missing the point I made. You see, there are countless examples of words in English that have dramatically different spellings from the actual pronunciation. As I said before, take for example the word "colonel", now where in that word is there an r? Nowhere, but we pronounce it like there is, like it's spelled "curnel". Also, there is another interesting example, the word "laughter", now following English phonetic rules, laughter should be pronounced as "lawter", but not this one! It is pronounced like "laffter" as if there were an "f" and as if "au" should be pronounced as a "short a"!

There should at least be some consistency in English spelling.
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Postby Stan » 2005-06-12, 5:22

reflexsilver86 wrote:Perhaps it's ridiculous, but a spelling reform isn't going to happen. Another problem is there are so many regional accents and dialects of English that change word pronunciation, so for example while one person would pronounce the t in "often" another might wonder why that T is in fact even there. Other areas slur their pronunciation ever so slightly so a T sound becomes similar to a D.

Sure, there are words like colonel that are borrowed from other languages and to many people don't make sense. But it would be opening up a whole can of worms, really.

And when I see people who can't even get simple words like "they're" and "their" right, I think trying to cater to this crowd is the wrong idea.

There's always going to be errors in spelling; that's why they created the wonderful spell check (which doesn't always work right!)

I don't believe in cheapening the language because some people can't learn it properly. And this has nothing to do with the addition of new words, but when you start wanting to spell things like it belongs in a text message that we send from our cell phones, then it starts getting ridiculous.

And if French ever underwent a reform to spell things the way they're actually pronounced... well it would be a lot easier to read, but the written language would go from beautiful to ugly. And being that I've learned to cope with the insane French third person plural verb tense, which adds an -ent to the end of everything and it isn't even pronounced, I can't complain at all about English. ;)

And on a related note, I don't know why but I keep reading "speling" in my head as if the e is now a long e. So I don't think this "speling reform" would help anyone, really.

I agree, that using only one l in that word looks strange. That's not the kind of changes that should happen.
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Postby Stan » 2005-06-12, 5:26

well if you thought that site was crazy, how about this, the Shavian alphabet was designed as a new alphabet for the English language (however yes it might be impractical because of dialectical differences) :

http://www.omniglot.com/writing/shavian.htm
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Postby reflexsilver86 » 2005-06-12, 5:27

A good example of how a spelling reform sometimes just doesn't work as planned is the German Rechtschreibungsreform. In the end you have people who just plain refuse to spell things the new way; and most of those changes incorporated converting the ß in many words to an "ss," which has really confused me because some words keep the ß and others, for seemingly no apparent reason, drop it. Maybe to a German it makes sense, to me it just seems like they picked and chose which ones would be the best words to change.

And that's a huge problem with spelling reforms. You either have to change all similar words, or you run the risk of confusion. Because then you're just creating greater discrepencies.
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Postby CoBB » 2005-06-12, 7:46

English spelling isn't difficult in my opinion, and I come from quite a distance language wise... If someone spends a lot of time with written text (like, uh, reading books), they are less likely to spell words wrong regardless of the language. 'Phonetic' writing systems are just as far from perfect, so what's the point?
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Postby Car » 2005-06-12, 10:25

reflexsilver86 wrote:A good example of how a spelling reform sometimes just doesn't work as planned is the German Rechtschreibungsreform. In the end you have people who just plain refuse to spell things the new way; and most of those changes incorporated converting the ß in many words to an "ss," which has really confused me because some words keep the ß and others, for seemingly no apparent reason, drop it.


That rule of the Rechtschreibreform actually makes sense and is consequently used (unless many other rules). It depends on the preceeding vowel: If it's short, it's "ss", if it's long or a diphtong, it's "ß". So I really wonder why many natives find it complicated. But many now stopped using it at all, you see "ss" much more often in places where you should use "ß", that definitely wasn't common before, nowhere near as common. But maybe you were also confused because some newspapers etc. still use the old spelling, now even words like "Business" are spelt with "ß" by those people although I can't remember it being written this way before. Since it doesn't follow German pronunciation rules anyway, it IMHO doesn't make sense to spell it like this.

The dialects aren't the problem, e.g. there were a few points where people complained about that, the problem of the English language is that it doesn't have one standard, but many centres with their own standards (e.g. RP vs. General American). Unless you want to have one spelling of its own for each standard (there are, after all, different spellings used in different countries now), this is a problem.

Oh, Stancel, the RP pronunciation of laughter is "'lɑ:ftəʳ", so "laffter" wouldn't represent that well.

I'm not in general against spelling reforms, but they have to be made in a way that people accept them. I (like most people) do mix both German spellings unconsciously and the same already happens with American vs. British English. Bokmål vs. Nynorsk vs. dialects is also quite confusing. In the case of English, it's too late.

It still happens after all those years that I don't know how to pronounce a word in English I've never encountered before, but spelling was always my best aspect in school. I find the French spelling, although clearly easier to read, much more difficult to write.
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Postby Stan » 2005-06-12, 15:14

Car wrote:
reflexsilver86 wrote:A good example of how a spelling reform sometimes just doesn't work as planned is the German Rechtschreibungsreform. In the end you have people who just plain refuse to spell things the new way; and most of those changes incorporated converting the ß in many words to an "ss," which has really confused me because some words keep the ß and others, for seemingly no apparent reason, drop it.


That rule of the Rechtschreibreform actually makes sense and is consequently used (unless many other rules). It depends on the preceeding vowel: If it's short, it's "ss", if it's long or a diphtong, it's "ß". So I really wonder why many natives find it complicated. But many now stopped using it at all, you see "ss" much more often in places where you should use "ß", that definitely wasn't common before, nowhere near as common. But maybe you were also confused because some newspapers etc. still use the old spelling, now even words like "Business" are spelt with "ß" by those people although I can't remember it being written this way before. Since it doesn't follow German pronunciation rules anyway, it IMHO doesn't make sense to spell it like this.

The dialects aren't the problem, e.g. there were a few points where people complained about that, the problem of the English language is that it doesn't have one standard, but many centres with their own standards (e.g. RP vs. General American). Unless you want to have one spelling of its own for each standard (there are, after all, different spellings used in different countries now), this is a problem.

Oh, Stancel, the RP pronunciation of laughter is "'lɑ:ftəʳ", so "laffter" wouldn't represent that well.

I'm not in general against spelling reforms, but they have to be made in a way that people accept them. I (like most people) do mix both German spellings unconsciously and the same already happens with American vs. British English. Bokmål vs. Nynorsk vs. dialects is also quite confusing. In the case of English, it's too late.

It still happens after all those years that I don't know how to pronounce a word in English I've never encountered before, but spelling was always my best aspect in school. I find the French spelling, although clearly easier to read, much more difficult to write.

What is "RP"?
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Postby Luís » 2005-06-12, 15:28

Stancel wrote:What is "RP"?


RP stands for "Received Pronunciation".

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition, Houghton Mifflin Company, 2000 wrote:A pronunciation of British English, originally based on the speech of the upper class of southeastern England and characteristic of the English spoken at the public schools and at Oxford and Cambridge Universities. Until recently it was the standard form of English used in British broadcasting.


More information at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Received_Pronunciation
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Postby greg-fr » 2005-06-19, 12:19

As a conservative non-native, I want the spelling maintained the way it is now.

The actual sound(s) of English may be weird. Not its spelling, which is indeed arbitrary but serves many purposes (elegance and even some sort of regularity, to name just two).


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