Orthographic reform as a national priority, an ADS responsibility

W Brewer brewerwa at GMAIL.COM
Mon Oct 15 10:01:52 UTC 2012

TZ: <<<Shil fer mee, broe >>>

WB: Been there, done that. QWERTY-basing is an American addiction. As a
bright-eyed & bushy-tailed young undergraduate, I also contributed my own
perfect solution: Brewer's Orthgraphic Reform of English, or B.O.R.Ing,
circa 1975. Constrained by the QWERTY keyboard of an Olympic manual
typewriter, I could crank out text okay. But ultimately, we must ask: Why
is Truspel of no consequence to ADS-Lers, aside from an enthused TZ? Why
was B.O.R.Ing so . . . boring? For that matter, why has Webster's brilliant
phonetic conventions received absolutely zero acknowledgment from any
linguist, except perhaps from Philip Babcock Gove? (I wonder if
Merriam-Webster gave him any choice.) If those patchwork schemes, designed
to rationalize the irrational, are a flop, why not try IPA, a ready-made,
off-the-shelf, ready-for-prime-time scientific notation? The IPA consonant
chart even strongly resembles the table of chemical elements. QWERTY-basing
is so passe/, IPA has cachet.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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