saving the world

Beverly Flanigan flanigan at OHIO.EDU
Mon Dec 4 04:47:44 UTC 2006

Mr. Zurinskas, would you please stop preaching to us about how we "should"
speak English?  We're linguists and dialectologists, and we don't take
kindly to prescriptive preaching!   How are dialects "arbitrary"--do we
just make them up as we go along?  And how do we stop them from "taking
hold"?  Who ARE these "artificial dialectizers" who misspeak words--all of
the millions of speakers of English around the world except thee and me
(and not even me, apparently)?  Anything that doesn't match your principles
is "not good"?  And "semplence"?  "Egyption"?  "speach"? "pear"?  I'd
suggest you check your own spelling, or are you artificially changing it to
match your own alphabetic(al) principle?

I for one am getting tired of this kind of ranting on what was set up to be
a neutral, objective, real-language-based listserv dedicated to the
principles of the 100-year-old-plus American Dialect Society.  Are you
aware of the ADS and what it stands for?  Are you a member?  Now I'm
ranting!  But instead of ignoring these misguided missives, I'm going to
renew the call of some years ago that we restrict subscription to this
listserv to those who are paying members of the ADS or who at least have
serious and unbiased contributions to make.  And I'm willing to let our
moderators be the judges of that.  Anybody want to join me?

At 01:07 AM 11/24/2006, you wrote:
>The alphabetical principle holds that letters stand for sounds.  We find now
>that even Egyption hieroglyphic symbols stand for sounds, and we can speak
>the writings of 5,000 years ago because of this.
>Arbitrary dialects destroy this relationship and should they take hold
>lessen the consistency of correspondence between letters and sounds and make
>English all the harder to read and learn.  Not good.
>Let's not be artificial dialectizers by misspeaking words, but rather
>retainers of what semplence of alphabetic principle we have for English.
>Tom Zurinskas, USA - CT20, TN3, NJ33, FL4+
>See and the 4 truespel books at
>Stay up-to-date with your friends through the Windows Live Spaces friends
>The American Dialect Society -

The American Dialect Society -

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