New Spelling System in Spanish

Federico Escobar federicoescobarcordoba at GMAIL.COM
Sat Nov 27 18:18:03 UTC 2010

FWIW, the reform of spelling in Spanish has now made it to the NYT:<>

A copy editing nightmare will be under way (unless of course the book is
ready by now and waiting for a mere wink): the New Orthography's 800 pages
will be debated and approved this weekend, and, if approved, they will be
out in stores by December 24th. From my experience in the field, a veritable
legion of copy editors and designers will be needed to get so much text in
shape in just a couple weeks.


On Thu, Nov 11, 2010 at 10:30 AM, Federico Escobar <
federicoescobarcordoba at> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Federico Escobar <federicoescobarcordoba at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: New Spelling System in Spanish
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Wilson, the comment you quoted was quite pertinent, but it turns out that
> Microsoft's spell-check in Spanish is very accommodating. It is not wedded
> to any particular system, so it tends to have both what the Academy
> recommends and what other institutions (and tradition) suggest.
> Paul, there was a discussion on this list about the possibilities of
> reforming English spelling, sparked precisely because of spelling bees, a
> few months ago. It starts here:
> =3D57653
> A language as decentralized as English (or at least as multipolar) will
> hav=
> e
> a hard time accepting a single spelling system. The further obstacles you
> mentioned, Paul, are also formidable. If my life can be spared by sharing a
> small anecdote, someone I know says that the ultimate proof that English
> phonetics is mad comes in three simple words: bomb, comb, tomb. Historical
> and linguistic reasons notwithstanding, this person argues it's madness for
> the -omb part in these four-letter words to have such radically different
> sounds. (Wait till this persons finds out about through, enough, and
> bough)=
> .
> I agree with Michael that Spanish has a long history of reform, but it's
> much more difficult to engage in those massive reforms now, especially
> sinc=
> e
> the headquarters for reform, Spain, now accounts for just a small fraction
> of Spanish speakers worldwide. In spite of the demographics, a significant
> reform is under way, and people will more readily accept it than if, say,
> the OED were to propose a new spelling system for 21st-century English. The
> silent h is, in fact, one of Spanish=92s small traps, and some communities,
> despite admonitions coming from the Academy, have come to differentiate "b"
> and "v." There's a further trap, when you=92re outside non-Anadalusian
> Spai=
> n,
> and it is the difference between s, z, and in some cases c.
> FWIW, I do find ADS discussions very stimulating and fascinating,
> especiall=
> y
> when new words and new meanings are brought up.
> F.

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