Tuesday, 10 July 2007

Should we simplify spelling?

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From the BBC website:

Thoughts please.


Blogger Paul said...

Utterly abhorrent. I personally feel it's akin to saying that driving at 70mph is too difficult for some people so, rather than preventing them from driving, we set the speed limit to 10mph.

Much like the Room 101 incident, my aggression is not levelled at those for whom spelling is difficult because of - say - dyslexia; it is squarely aimed at the lazy cretins who refuse to spend the appropriate amount of time to learn English.

I am appalled.

10 July 2007 at 14:08  
Blogger Gez said...

Erm... no. We shouldn't. Next question.

10 July 2007 at 18:05  
Blogger Gez said...

I should expand I guess. I can see the argument for standardisation of certain spellings and maybe even tweaking a few spellings that defy modern logic (and there are some). However: the child like, phonetic garbage being suggested such as 'ar' and 'butiful' is not on. Really, absolutely, definately not on. The phonetic spelling suggested is severely biased towards the American accent. And this is what really gets my goat.

The reason 'beautiful' is spelt that way is because that's how it's supposed to be spoken. Got that, you doughnut-gobbling, gun-toting sons of cousins?

10 July 2007 at 18:13  
Blogger Dan said...

Definately, Gez?

10 July 2007 at 18:48  
Blogger Paul said...

Ha ha. Well done, Dan. One of my pet peeves picked up on. Definitely.

10 July 2007 at 20:57  
Blogger Gez said...


10 July 2007 at 21:20  
Blogger goofy said...

I don't get how "beautiful" is supposed to be spoken. It's the only word with that combination of letters: eau, and it's not obvious how that should be pronounced. "butiful" makes more sense; it follows the pattern in "cute" and "mute".

Other languages have simplified their spelling. It can be done. The problems with simplifying English are:
There is no government body to enforce it. It would be up to each writer to follow the new rules.
Choosing a dialect to base the new spelling on means you're alienating other dialects and possibly making the phoneme-grapheme correspondence even worse.
People who advocate simplified spelling often don't know what they're talking about. See Bell's comment on how English has "no grammatical difficulties".

16 January 2008 at 19:48  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"ea" is a two letter phonogram that says long sound E, short sound e and long sound A. Example: leave, bread, break. I teach my children that in the word "beautiful" "ea" makes its first sound-long E. The English language has fewer exceptions to the rule than I had previously thought until reading Romalda Spalding's Writing Road to Reading.

29 April 2008 at 16:53  
Blogger Gez said...

Agreed. I and many thousands of people pronounce the long "ea" sound in beautiful. If we were to reduce it to phonetics, could I simplify it to "beeyewtful"?

How about someone from Brooklyn, would they spell it "boodifel"? This is just nonsense and I'm getting annoyed again.

29 April 2008 at 18:04  

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