"easy to learn" spelling

RonButters at AOL.COM RonButters at AOL.COM
Sat Apr 12 01:40:26 UTC 2008

In a message dated 4/11/08 9:07:54 PM, truespel at HOTMAIL.COM writes:

> It would be a terrific thing if the letter/sound correspondence in English 
> were regular.  The easiest thing to change is pronunciation to meet spelling.
How would this be EASY? Pronunciation changes constantly, and the changers 
are usually not even aware of what they are doing (and powerless to do anything 
about it). Occasionally some spelling pronunciations happen with individual 
words (e.g., "often"), but there is no way in the world (let alone any "easy" 
way) to control phonological change short of killing very large numbers of 
teenagers in every generation. Of course, spelling isn't easy to change, either, 
but people do a lot less writing than they do speaking, and they are a lot more 
conscious of what they are doing when they write, and they can go back and 
edit, so it is far, far easier to teach children how to use a somewhat 
idiosyncratic spelling system than it is to change their phonological systems to meet 
somebody's idea of what is "right."

It is perhaps worth pointing out that not all cultures use a phonemic or even 
syllabic system of writing. There are great advantages to being "Chinese": 
you can read what each other writes, even if you cannot understand the spoken 
form of the language at all. To some extent this is more or less true of the 
virtually frozen system of English spelling. There is an advantage for English as 
a World Language to pretty much leaving the spelling alone. 

Mr. Truespel, you are tiliting at windmills that do not exist, and you don't 
even have a tilter.

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