Why is English spelling not simplified?

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Why is English spelling not simplified?

#1  Postby Paul1 » Nov 25, 2010 9:56 pm

It appears to me that English spelling is very illogical and we should have done something about this along time ago. We should have one letter for one sound, and one sound for one letter.

We don't need these silly vowel combinations. To make a vowel long we could logically combine a vowel with it, much like they do in Arabic . E.g. feet becomes fiyt, nice = nuys. We need a new vowel or two, as o and O have different sounds, the same sound bird can also be turned into capital O; so we could employ new letters
"ı" for the i in bird
"ɵ" for the oo in too
"ɛ" for the o in poor

In particular the following letters could be simplified:
c - As in cat but not as in ceiling. It could start with an s instead.
q - "cw" e.g "queen" = "cwiyn" (starting to look like Welsh!)
k could be abolished
j could be abolished and replaced with Ģ
x could be abolished
z could be abolished and replaced with ss
v could become f, whilst f would become ff
ch could be replaced with ç
sh could be replaced with ş
th (as in think) could be replaced with ţ
th (as in them) could be replaced with þ

So "The brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" would become "þı brawn focs ģumpd ıwfır þı leyssiy dog"

"I am an Atheist" would become "Uy am an Ayţiyist", "I like fish and chips" would become "Uy luyc ffiş and çips"

etc etc
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Re: Why is English spelling not simplified?

#2  Postby Aca » Nov 25, 2010 9:58 pm

The European Union commissioners have announced that agreement has been reached to adopt English as the preferred language for European communications, rather than German, which was the other possibility. As part of the negotiations, Her Majesty's Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a five-year phased plan for what will be known as EuroEnglish (Euro for short).

In the first year, "s" will be used instead of the soft "c." Sertainly, sivil servants will resieve this news with joy. Also, the hard "c" will be replaced with "k". Not only will this klear up konfusion, but typewriters kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik emthusiasm in the sekond year, when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced by "f". This will make words like fotograf" 20 persent shorter.

In the third year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkorage the removal of double letters, which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horible mes of silent "e"s in the languag is disgrasful, and they would go.

By the fourth year, peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" by "z" and "w" by " v".

During ze fifz year, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou", and similar changes vud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters.

After zis fifz yer, ve vil hav a reli sensibl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubls or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech ozer.

Ze drem vil finali kum tru.

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Re: Why is English spelling not simplified?

#3  Postby THWOTH » Nov 25, 2010 10:08 pm

:this: :rofl:

Anyway....

Paul1 wrote:It appears to me that English spelling is very illogical and we should have done something about this along time ago. We should have one letter for one sound, and one sound for one letter.... etc etc

English is a bastard language. Words are spelt according to their etymology and not construct according to the principles of logic, let alone their sound. However, pronunciation and spelling are subject to change over time, research into the history of the noragne will demonstrate that. And besides, when I read out your new spellings for phrases at the bottom of your post I instantly sounded like I was reading Chaucer in a thick Black Country accent - and we can't have that now can we? :D
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Re: Why is English spelling not simplified?

#4  Postby les5f » Nov 25, 2010 10:09 pm

Paul1 wrote:It appears to me that English spelling is very illogical and we should have done something about this along time ago. We should have one letter for one sound, and one sound for one letter.

We don't need these silly vowel combinations. To make a vowel long we could logically combine a vowel with it, much like they do in Arabic . E.g. feet becomes fiyt, nice = nuys. We need a new vowel or two, as o and O have different sounds, the same sound bird can also be turned into capital O; so we could employ new letters
"ı" for the i in bird
"ɵ" for the oo in too
"ɛ" for the o in poor

In particular the following letters could be simplified:
c - As in cat but not as in ceiling. It could start with an s instead.
q - "cw" e.g "queen" = "cwiyn" (starting to look like Welsh!)
k could be abolished
j could be abolished and replaced with Ģ
x could be abolished
z could be abolished and replaced with ss
v could become f, whilst f would become ff
ch could be replaced with ç
sh could be replaced with ş
th (as in think) could be replaced with ţ
th (as in them) could be replaced with þ

So "The brown fox jumped over the lazy dog" would become "þı brawn focs ģumpd ıwfır þı leyssiy dog"

"I am an Atheist" would become "Uy am an Ayţiyist", "I like fish and chips" would become "Uy luyc ffiş and çips"

etc etc


In which particular part of the universe would this be logical??
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Re: Why is English spelling not simplified?

#5  Postby thaesofereode » Nov 25, 2010 10:16 pm

You should've seen it before Samuel Johnson got hold of it in 1755!!
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Re: Why is English spelling not simplified?

#6  Postby Paul1 » Nov 25, 2010 10:25 pm

In which particular part of the universe would this be logical??

Well it's certainly not going to make much sense more than 8 light minutes away.

I suppose Americans and the British could have different spelling systems, no doubt America would stick with the current one, Canada would dither and use them interchangeably, Australia would switch to the new system even though how they say the words sounds different and New Zealanders speak their own language anyway.
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Re: Why is English spelling not simplified?

#7  Postby Efilzeo » Nov 25, 2010 10:29 pm

Yes, you should.
Forgive my bad English, I am still learning it.
If you want, correct me, I would appreciate it.
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Re: Why is English spelling not simplified?

#8  Postby Ironclad » Nov 25, 2010 10:35 pm

Paul1 wrote:
In which particular part of the universe would this be logical??

Well it's certainly not going to make much sense more than 8 light minutes away.

I suppose Americans and the British could have different spelling systems, no doubt America would stick with the current one, Canada would dither and use them interchangeably, Australia would switch to the new system even though how they say the words sounds different and New Zealanders speak their own language anyway.


One thing we Brits should thank the United States of Merker for is the preservation of the English language.

Apart from the armour / armor anomaly, which is likely a Canadia pervasion.
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Re: Why is English spelling not simplified?

#9  Postby Paul1 » Nov 25, 2010 10:43 pm

True, although I think we should thank ourselves for forcing non-English speaking immigrants in the America colony to speak English. :P :D Armour... It's that damn bird sound again. Why don't we just give this one vowel sound its own letter?!
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Re: Why is English spelling not simplified?

#10  Postby katja z » Nov 25, 2010 10:57 pm

THWOTH wrote:
English is a bastard language. Words are spelt according to their etymology and not construct according to the principles of logic, let alone their sound. However, pronunciation and spelling are subject to change over time, research into the history of the noragne will demonstrate that.

:this:

Let me add that in a way, this way of writing is a blessing in disguise. Because of the weird history of its vowel system, English has a truly awful amount of homophones, but spelling helps to distinguish them. :grin:

Anyway, a top-down revolution wouldn't work. The massive amount of texts in English, both printed and online, would stand in the way, because no way could you replace them all. People would continue to read them, indeed they would have to, so these texts would provide a different model for writing. All you would achieve would be a confusion between the two systems because what most people would produce, in practice, would be something in between, which would make reading more difficult, not easier. Add to that that you couldn't force everyone to change their keyboard, so people would invent ways around the new alphabet, use substitutions ... the FSM knows what the final result would be, but it would very probably be orders of magnitude more illegible than current English spelling.
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Re: Why is English spelling not simplified?

#11  Postby THWOTH » Nov 25, 2010 11:43 pm

English, we are told, has become the lingua franca of international commerce and business. With the dragon economies of the east rising to the fore and spreading their wings Chinese is also becoming prevalent and spreading. Who's to say that in 200 years time most of the worlds nations won't be teaching a hybrid Chinglish as a world language. Imagine that; a world language - that would be like sooo beautiful man, you know, like a John Lennon song come true! Totally bonch!
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Re: Why is English spelling not simplified?

#12  Postby Efilzeo » Nov 25, 2010 11:52 pm

Chinese never will be an international language: it hasn't an alphabet.

(and I don't get what you find of 'beautiful' in it)
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Re: Why is English spelling not simplified?

#13  Postby THWOTH » Nov 26, 2010 12:00 am

I suggested that Chinglish - a hybridised form of Chinese and English - might become a world language, and it is this idea that I find beautiful - a true lingua franca common to all (but then I am a bit of a hippy at heart). ;)
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Re: Why is English spelling not simplified?

#14  Postby katja z » Nov 26, 2010 7:22 am

THWOTH wrote:English, we are told, has become the lingua franca of international commerce and business. With the dragon economies of the east rising to the fore and spreading their wings Chinese is also becoming prevalent and spreading. Who's to say that in 200 years time most of the worlds nations won't be teaching a hybrid Chinglish as a world language. Imagine that; a world language - that would be like sooo beautiful man, you know, like a John Lennon song come true! Totally bonch!

We'd soon wake up though. Too big speaking communities don't remain speaking communities for long, they necessarily split up. Either this would be a vehicular language with strictly limited functions, in which case not everybody would (need to) speak it, or it would soon diverge into dialects on their way to new languages.

And we'd still need to learn the other languages if we weren't to lose all the cultural wealth amassed in them, so this would effectively just add a new language to learn. Which is fine and perfectly normal - it's just that it's the opposite to the dream of global monolingualism. Try as you might, you won't get rid of us translators any time soon. :evilgrin:
:drunk:

Paul1, have you looked into the international phonetic alphabet? It was designed as a linguistic tool to transcribe all languages, and is very economical, effective and, with a bit o practice, very simple to read. Using it, you can correctly read a language you've never even heard of (provided you know the symbols used). If you wanted to revolutionise English (I've already said why I don't think it would work), IPA-based spelling would be the reasonable way to go.
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Re: Why is English spelling not simplified?

#15  Postby THWOTH » Nov 26, 2010 7:31 am

Oh well katja, I guess we'll just have to rely on the tried and trusted international language of sign and gesture...

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Re: Why is English spelling not simplified?

#16  Postby katja z » Nov 26, 2010 7:35 am

:lol: As long as you keep in mind that signs and gestures are not universal either. Well, an extremely tiny majority are, but most are just as culturally determined as language, even signs for counting and such. For all I know, a facepalm might mean "yay! that's absolutely great!!" in some culture on this planet. :grin:
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Re: Why is English spelling not simplified?

#17  Postby Paul1 » Nov 26, 2010 11:11 am

Even *shakes head* doesn't mean no in every culture. In Turkey they tut-grin instead.
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Re: Why is English spelling not simplified?

#18  Postby THWOTH » Nov 26, 2010 12:25 pm

katja z wrote::lol: As long as you keep in mind that signs and gestures are not universal either. Well, an extremely tiny majority are, but most are just as culturally determined as language, even signs for counting and such. For all I know, a facepalm might mean "yay! that's absolutely great!!" in some culture on this planet. :grin:

Whaddaya mean? Pointing and shouting has served the British abroad for the last 300 years - it's how we built the Empire (well, pointing and shouting and shooting to be honest). And besides, English has been a modern language for 170ish years now and the bally foreigners really have no excuse for not making more of an effort to learn it! I guess communicating just ain't as easeh az yu fink, innit?



:D
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Re: Why is English spelling not simplified?

#19  Postby katja z » Nov 26, 2010 12:41 pm

THWOTH wrote:
katja z wrote::lol: As long as you keep in mind that signs and gestures are not universal either. Well, an extremely tiny majority are, but most are just as culturally determined as language, even signs for counting and such. For all I know, a facepalm might mean "yay! that's absolutely great!!" in some culture on this planet. :grin:

Whaddaya mean? Pointing and shouting has served the British abroad for the last 300 years - it's how we built the Empire (well, pointing and shouting and shooting to be honest).

:nod: Shooting is unlikely to be mistaken for a friendly greeting anywhere. To this extent, we can say this gesture has a truly universal significance.

And besides, English has been a modern language for 170ish years now and the bally foreigners really have no excuse for not making more of an effort to learn it!

But we have learned your uncouth tongue, we've had to in order to communicate with you Northern savages because you haven't been able to learn any real language. :tongue2:

ETA:
I guess communicating just ain't as easeh az yu fink, innit?
:D

Well, I must admit that the complexity and subtlety of language found in the writings of the greatest masters of the English language such as Robert Byers are beyond my comprehension, but I seem to manage reasonably well in more mundane circumstances. :grin:
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Re: Why is English spelling not simplified?

#20  Postby THWOTH » Nov 26, 2010 12:47 pm

Ug? :scratch:
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