Saving the World (was online accent quiz)

Tom Zurinskas truespel at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Dec 4 01:11:56 UTC 2006

I assume Mr. Butters is referring to me below.

>From: RonButters at AOL.COM
>About 20 people have tried to reason with this person in just this way. It
>hopeless. He says things such as "linguists are prejudiced,"

Who would say such a thing?  I never said that.

>and he believes
>that there is "right" pronunciation and "wrong" pronunciation--and HE
>has the authority to make such pronouncements.

I believe that English pronunciation should follow as much as possible the
alphabetic principle.  So "pen" should be taught properly pronounced "pen"
not "pin" even though the teacher may be in a local area where its
pronounced "pin".

>He is obsessed with the fact
>that the vowels in "cot" and "caught" are merging for some people, and
>that this is simply laziness on their part.

I've said "ah" is easier to say than "awe", and could be a reason for "awe
dropping".  No doubt some phonemes are harder to say than others.  Anyone

>He is obsessed with spelling
>pronunciations, yet he would apparently alter English spelling to conform
>to his
>own way of pronouncing words when the two do not agree. He often simply
>arguments that contradict his pronouncements.

No.  Exactly the opposite.  I've said spelling is pretty much set in stone,
and pronunciation is variable, thus possibly changeable to comply with the
alphabetic principle.

>He has apparently paid good
>money to publish books that announce his own "sytem"--which he feels will
>go a
>long way towards stamping out illiteracy and crime.

I have published books analyzing the English language in a way no others
have done.  Truespel Book 4 analyzes 15.4 millioin word instances to show
how our letters work and how our phonemes are spelled in USA English.  It
uses truespel, a new pronunciation guide spelling/writing system.  I believe
that teaching truespel as a phonetics first system to k-1 learners will help
them learn to read and reduce crime (crime data were provided in a previoius
email).  IBM's Writing to Read has shown that a phonetics first system
allows kids to write and read way ahead of pears, and transition to tradspel
is no problem

>I have gone from feeling angry that he clutters up ADS-L with his nonsense
>trying to have compassion for what I take to be a harmless, well-meaning
>fellow who would really like to save at least a small portion of the world.
>I keep
>telling myself that I am going to follow the example of the really smart
>people on this list and just ignore him.

So if you're ignoring me, why the email above.  Better being ignored by you
than misrepresented.  I do suggest you follow the lead of the really smart
people.  It would help you.  But how do you tell?

Tom Z

>In a message dated 12/3/06 3:40:08 PM, spiderrmonkey at HOTMAIL.COM writes:
> > What you call mispronunciation is a large part of what makes a dialect a
> > dialect. If you say the speakers of certain dialects are mispronouncing
> > their words, then you are saying that their dialect is wrong.
>Personally, I
> > won't say that someone's natural language is wrong just because they
> > pronounce "pen" and "pin" the same. Someone might tell me that my
>dialect is
> > wrong too for extending the length of the "o" in Minnesota, but I don't
> > think it is. It's just different. I personally think we, as linguists,
> > should be just describing the way people speak instead of telling them
> > are wrong and trying to prescribe.
> >
> > Scot LaFaive
> >
>The American Dialect Society -

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The American Dialect Society -

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