Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Sat Feb 23 04:45:31 UTC 2008

On Fri, Feb 22, 2008 at 11:19 PM, Tom Zurinskas <truespel at> wrote:

[snip re Evan Kirshenbaum's ASCII IPA representation]
> So is this the official phonetic spelling of the ADS?  Of the US govt?  What about SAMPA?
> Is it not a US system?  What about IPA.  Is it obsolete?

The Kirshenbaum system is a popular ASCII representation of IPA on
Usenet newsgroups such as alt.usage.english and sci.lang. I prefer it,
perhaps because I used to spend a lot of time on alt.usage.english.
SAMPA is just another way of representing IPA with ASCII characters,
preferred by many in Europe where it was developed. Neither of them
make IPA obsolete, since they are simply alternate schemes for
*representing IPA with ASCII characters*, useful in online discussions
of phonetics when IPA fonts aren't readily available.

More here, in case this is still somehow unclear:

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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