Abstract / Concrete

Thomas Paikeday t.paikeday at SYMPATICO.CA
Mon Jul 1 18:13:03 UTC 2002

Answer #3: Sorry if I overstated anything, but that was on an empty

My logic is vintage 1955, but let me try, so help me professors of

You are saying S = +P ("+" based on your use of "more" and "better"). In
effect, you are saying or implying, perhaps as a corollary, that
"abstract" as a concept admits of degree (cf. levels of abstraction).
Thus some concepts are more abstract than others.

I would like to say that orthographic spellings are less abstract than
IPA. There's, of course, a perceptual element to this, IDIOsyncratic as
we all are. But, logic apart, I agree with what you mean, namely, "the
orthographic representations [I] prefer [are] more accessible to
better-than-moderatly literate speakers of English," vague as this
statement is. To my own idiosyncratic thinking, identical twins are less
concrete (more abstract) than fraternal twins (more concrete, less

Answer #2: Not PYE- as in Pierre, but -AI- as in "aisle," etc. You are
citing an
exception in support of your argument, but exceptions (as in Conan Doyle
and TMP's "native speaker" book) don't prove anything.

Answer #1: Speakers of Spanish, etc. are supposed to be at the (vaguely)
Grade 6
level of English proficiency. Non-English speakers starting from zero
would have to use some aural-oral method of language acquisition first
before being able to use a dictionary meant for the English-speaking

I enjoyed Rudy's lecture. I too was trained as an academic, but since
1960, I have lived and worked in a commercial world, though with little
profit motive. I think our differences are based on differences of
attitude and (sub-conscious?) vested interests. Sorry if I have
overstated it.

www3.sympatico.ca/t.paikeday/index.htm (alpha version)

Donald M Lance wrote:
> on 6/30/02 4:12 PM, Thomas Paikeday at t.paikeday at SYMPATICO.CA wrote:
> > To answer a couple of questions raised by Mark and Dennis:
> >
> > Mark: "How is this set of rules, abstracted and *regularized* from
> > English
> > orthography, not also a "key" to be learned?"
> >
> > Good question. Answer: A literate person is
> > supposed to have already learned the common English spellings.
> Not true for speakers of Spanish, Russian, Chinese pinyin, etc. TMP: Please see answers above, #1
> (snip)
> > TOM PAIKEDAY (pointing to the spelling of his name, the first syllable
> > of which is not good orthography, but I didn't do it! Anyone who cares
> > please say PYE- not PAY-).
> PYE- as in Pierre? TMP: Answer #2
> Sorry, Tom.  I don't buy your rebuttal as stated.  The orthographic
> representations you prefer may be more accessible to better-than-moderately
> literate speakers of English, but they're still abstract.  They're concrete
> only as marks on paper.  You're overstating your case. TMP: Ans. #3
> DMLance

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