T Nation

Simplified Spelling?

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060705/ap_on_re_us/simpl_wurdz_1

I died a little on the inside when I read this.

Why do we (Americans) have to defend the extreme positions rather than thinking immediately about solutions that are actually rational?

This part, for example, is particularly telling of only thinking about extremes:

"
In languages with phonetically spelled words, like German or Spanish, children learn to spell in weeks instead of months or years as is sometimes the case with English, Mole said.

But education professor Donald Bear said to simplify spelling would probably make it more difficult because words get meaning from their prefixes, suffixes and roots.
"

Well, I speak, read and write fluent Spanish and I have a pretty passable German, and I can tell you that both languages have much more phonetic spelling than English, but they STILL have obvious prefixes, suffixes and roots.

Furthermore, English has MANY words that came from Latin and are indeed spelled phonetically, and coincidentally – or not – have also obvious prefixes, suffixes and roots.

I do believe there is room for simplifying the spelling a little, but doing something as dramatic as the article shows is simply absurd and unnecessary.

Then again, we’ll probably all be speaking Spanish and Mandarin in a couple for centuries anyway so making it easier to learn might be a complete waste of time… :wink:

“Eether wae, the consept has yet to capcher th publix imajinaeshun.”

Shit, I wonder why?

Has anyone thought about how a kid taught to read that way would manage to read the millions of already written books, articles, etc? Why not just lobotomize them at birth and be done with it?

Many people the world over are fluent in 3 or 4 languages and often comfortable in a few more. Hasn’t one of those “geenioosez” thought that maybe, if our kids can’t master one (or two, here in QC) language, the problem might not lie with the language itself, but with the teaching of it? Instead of “dumbing down” the language, how about teaching it properly?

I really like to see those kinds of articles. It tells me that all the real problems like poverty, healthcare, education, war and disease have been taken care of and that we are now addressing less pressing matters…

[quote]Ren wrote:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060705/ap_on_re_us/simpl_wurdz_1

I died a little on the inside when I read this.[/quote]

Cretinism seems to be on the rise – maybe the food supply is to blame.

“Thae sae th bee selebraets th ability of a fue stoodents to master a dificult sistem that stumps meny utherz hoo cuud do just as wel if speling were simpler.”

Why? Why is it a bad thing to want to be able to fucking read what is written?

Pookie is right. I think I have said that twice in the last 2 days.

[quote]hspder wrote:
Why do we (Americans) have to defend the extreme positions rather than thinking immediately about solutions that are actually rational?

This part, for example, is particularly telling of only thinking about extremes:

"
In languages with phonetically spelled words, like German or Spanish, children learn to spell in weeks instead of months or years as is sometimes the case with English, Mole said.

But education professor Donald Bear said to simplify spelling would probably make it more difficult because words get meaning from their prefixes, suffixes and roots.
"

Well, I speak, read and write fluent Spanish and I have a pretty passable German, and I can tell you that both languages have much more phonetic spelling than English, but they STILL have obvious prefixes, suffixes and roots.

Furthermore, English has MANY words that came from Latin and are indeed spelled phonetically, and coincidentally – or not – have also obvious prefixes, suffixes and roots.

I do believe there is room for simplifying the spelling a little, but doing something as dramatic as the article shows is simply absurd and unnecessary.

Then again, we’ll probably all be speaking Spanish and Mandarin in a couple for centuries anyway so making it easier to learn might be a complete waste of time… :wink:
[/quote]

I’m with you on this one!

[quote]hspder wrote:

Then again, we’ll probably all be speaking Spanish and Mandarin in a couple for centuries anyway so making it easier to learn might be a complete waste of time… :wink:
[/quote]

Or 1s and 0s.

It could always be worse, we could all speak PERL.

Maybe they should aim for another six words during the current century?

It might not be such an awful abomination if it changed slowly enough. I mean, Shakespeare is damned hard to read, and supposedly it is English too.

For example, does anyone mind that these shifts have happened:

doughnut - donut
colour - color
centre - center

Pick the most “confusing” issue in the language and spend a decade trying to get it through a small change. As with many other things, massive rapid changes in this way are simply a clusterfuck.

[quote]lucasa wrote:
It could always be worse, we could all speak PERL.[/quote]

I don’t mind speaking it, as long as I don’t have to read it.

[SF-Bay-Area-Native-mode]

[quote]lucasa wrote:
It could always be worse, we could all speak PERL.[/quote]

Dude, nobody spells it PERL. It’s a backronym, not an acronym.

People who try to look cool by spelling it PERL get laughed at around here.

It’s just Perl.

Don’t take my word for it. It’s how the language’s author spells it, man:

http://www.wall.org/~larry/

[/SF-Bay-Area-Native-mode]

This is the dumbest thing I have seen in a long time.

Another failed proposal from a failed educational system. Perhaps if the public schools would teach kids to read, we wouldn’t be having this “deebate.”

Perhaps the answer to the failed school system is to allow tax vouchers for parents to shop around for the best educational option for their children. Competition would go a long way in solving these problems.

I actually agree with Pookie’s excellent point. I will take it further. Can you imagine a kid learning to spell and read this way, trying to read Shakespeare?

Amazing folly!