Puush for simpler speling perzists

These kids can learn the damn alphabet like everyone else


Ah, kudos to Xwing for mentioning that English spelling was only nailed down fairly recently. To hear my Lingusitics professor tell it, the idea wasn’t so much scientific as a romantic endeavor to structure English orthography to reflect it’s roots (in Latin especially). So standardizing English spelling here in America means fuck all about our society (think–you’ve just committed the Fundamental Attribution Error on a nationwide scale!).

Standardizing spelling so that it would be phonetic would create confusion between homonyms that have no actual connection in meaning, but part of the reason these word pairs can be tolerated in English is that our orthography allows for homonyms to be spelled differently. If it had never been that way, they wouldn’t exist (unless contextual clues in our grammar were enough to differentiate them). That could be the case with caught and cot.

Either way, all language is arbitrary. I propose, as Calvin did, that we leave math to the machines and go play outside.

[edit] I dedicate this, my nine-hundred-eighty-fourth post, to you, 984. Long may you reign. [/edit]

Quoted for the truth. The world needs less stupid people. Why should we help make the future generations even more stupider than they already will be?

This system would basically be an insult to anyone who worked to learned it. While everyone else will be introduced to a horrible, hard to understand, piece of shit. This is just a waste of time.If this were implimented, I would just never go to school, or try to cross the border into Canada…or something along those lines.

Methinks you mean homophones, as homonyms ARE spelled the same (my Meriam-Webster’s dictionary gives the example of quail as a noun and quail as a verb). Also, I pronounce “caught” with an “awe” sound, and “cot” with an “ah” sound.

Cross the border into Canada! Cross the border into Mexico!

Gotta love it :runaway:

I tried to write a post the way words sound…and it was more confuding trying to spelling things the way the sound instead of the way I was taught. is glad she is no longer in school and doesn’t have to wrry about new spelling techniques such as this


A perfect example of why trying to use our current way of spelling to represent phonetic sounds doesn’t work. When demi says “ah”, it probably reads to him “awe”, so when he says he pronounces “cot” with an “ah” sound, he’s trying to say he pronounces it the normal way. But when you read “ah”, you hear a heard A sound, meaning when you picture demi’s way of pronouncing “cot” you hear “cat”.

This could all be solved by using letters and characters that already have defined phonetic sounds, like the ones used by dictionaries to help pronunciation. Most people already know these anyway.

How much easier (and universal) is it to write “kõt” rather than write “i pronounce cot with an ‘ah’ sound” (which sounds different to everyone). Or how much easier and universal is it to write “thôt” than thought?

And yeah, THOSE STUPID KIDS. KIDS THESE DAYS ARE SO SCREWY!!! But what about all the people who come to america and have to go through the fun experience of learning american english? If we’re going to be a nation of immigrants, how about having a language that isn’t impossible to get a hold of?

I don’t think the government is too keen on us being a nation of immigrants anymore.

Then phonetic spelling becomes even screwier when they’re trying to pronounce English words with their other-languages-accents. I don’t have any data, but I must wonder how many people come to America but already speak English rather well. How would phonetic spelling help people who pronounce “diva” as something close to “deever”? Heaven knows the Kennedies and their oft ridiculed Bostonian accent would be in danger.

Personal anecdote. My father used to teach high school English in Franklin, North Carolina, what was then a small town lodged in the middle of nowhere in the Blue Ridge mountains. He had one girl who had trouble spelling; she sometimes tried spelling things phonetically. However, her Appalachian accent fucked her up (she, being a country girl and not a townie, had never received proper help from her townie-preferring teachers). Those people are, for the most part, perfectly understandable and literate. Phonetic spelling, though, for them (and many people out there) isn’t phonetic.

Plus, what about words that currently have two pronunciations? Either, neither, Caribbean, tomato? They can’t have both pronunciations under phonetic spelling unless there are two words with separate spellings but the same meaning. Currently, despite what some people may say, English actually is rather structed. Mabat’s example of Ghoti completely ignores English spelling rules: Gh at the beginning of a word is never pronounced like an f, the o comes from women which I believe is the only word in English with an o pronounced like an i, and ti at the end of a word is never given a sh sound.

I actually perfectly understood demigod’s explanation of his difference between caught and cot. I actually have the same difference between naught and not or taught/taut and tot. I just don’t with caught and cot.

Which are the two pronounciations of tomato? Tom-may-toe is the only one that comes to mind.

(Tom-may-toe. Hah, genius.)

Toe-may-toe and toe-mah-toe (although I still will say 'mater as a joke). It was actually a tongue in cheek reference to Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off.

No, “ah” as in the sound you make when the doctor looks in your throat and tells you to go “ah”, so that cot rhymes with pot or tot.

Ah, like taters.

It would sorta make sense if they standardized the phonetic spelling. That way when kids are learning the language, they can be taught how each letter is pronounced, and it will always be that way. This, I beleive, would solve several of these problems…

aye,bee,cee,dee,ee,ef,gee,aich,eye,jay,kay,el,em,en,oo,pee,que,ar,ess,tee,uu,vee,duubluuu,ex,oiy,aand zee. They are estimating youths’ intelligence incorrectly.


Right you are. My mistake. Of course, quail (n.) and quail (v.) are both homonyms and homophones. LOL wordplay.

In France dogs go “wua wua.” Or so their comics tell it. There are too many possible gradiations in the way vowels can be spoken to be put accurately into script. The point at which you personally divide one vowel sound from another when you hear them is, like all language, arbitrary in any case. Some people pronounce the “o” in “cot” with a higher back vowel than others. If they were displaced into a region where people used the lower sound they might mishear it as “cat.”

Conversely, someone whose ideolect includes an unusually low “a” sound might say “cat” and have people thinking he was talking about a “cot.” Like, if you were affecting a really bad English accent. The snooty Oxford one, I think (I know there are many English accents but I’m no expert on them).

This could all be solved by using letters and characters that already have defined phonetic sounds, like the ones used by dictionaries to help pronunciation. Most people already know these anyway.

Good luck not sub-vocalizing when the characters you read directly correspond to a sound.

And that’s leaving out the difficulties that 984 pointed out with reconciling the English imports from the many tounges that have influenced it.

How much easier (and universal) is it to write “kõt” rather than write “i pronounce cot with an ‘ah’ sound” (which sounds different to everyone). Or how much easier and universal is it to write “thôt” than thought?

I think the revisions required of keyboards by this move would have the happy side-effect of eliminating a lot of technically inept people from the Internet.

There, I’ve said something good about your idea. :stuck_out_tongue:

[ninja edit]It occurs to me that I have heard both “gradations” and “gradiations,” which further underscores the problems 984 outlined. That and the British pronunciation of “aluminum” or “temporarily” (the latter being something like “temporally”)[tide ajnin]