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Simplified Spelling SocietyCategory: (general)
Tuesday, 1 April 2008
07:05:07 PM (GMT)
Because I'm certainly not above theft of entry topics from Lyncheh, I'm going
to talk about the campaign for phonetic spelling.

A brief explanation of
SSS (which has been around for quite a long time, in concept at least)

It actually makes a great deal of sense, and I've thought so for a long while. I used
to have quite a bit of difficulty spelling, before I took up writing, and a lot of
English is redundant. This redundancy makes it quite a bit harder for people who want
to learn English as a second language, not least the people who are learning it as a
first.

In the increasingly globalised society we live in, it makes things a great deal more
efficient if most people share a common language. The main candidate in a lot of the
word is English. By making English simpler, it would make it... well... simpler, for
those learning it. Even wikipedia has a 'simplified English' version, even if this is
not quite SSS English.

SSS, as so many other people, kind of miss the point of English, though. English,
British English at least, is not a standardised language. Dictionary creators only
examine the language that is in use, and report what they find. If everyone decided
to say 'teh' instead of 'the', the dictionaries would consider 'teh' a word, and
'the' as depreciated use. This is a great thing about English, that it evolves with
the society, rather than being controlled (as is with a language such as French). So,
unfortunately for the SSS, any campaign to change English would almost certainly
fail.

One avenue that would work is to create an entirely new international language based
on English, but simplified. I reckon that's what would be the best choice, provided
it got some backers. 

I can't see why anyone who thought about it would oppose it, providing they weren't
elitist about language. I'm not that bothered if people don't speak proper like I
does.

You can never stop people making spelling mistakes, but you can provide a simpler
standard for them to achieve, and I don't doubt that would make it easier for them to
progress onto Propa Engleesh if they chose to.

P.S: Oh, though there is one criticism. Who decides how English words are pronounced?
(important to know if you're going to spell things phonetically). I still think it'd
be good for non-British people though.

Comments 
Ranmaru says:   2 April 2008   193567  
The worst thing is when people assume others can't spell because they
lack the intelligence to do so.  English itself is bad at spelling :p 
It "evolved" through corruption after corruption becoming standard
use.  It's not a logical or even common sense language and it really
shouldn't be the global standard in my opinion.  The most intelligent
person in the world wouldn't be able to work out how to spell the
following words based on how they sound alone:

Through
Rough
Plough
Borough
Though
Cough
Dough
Bought

And what is the point of this?

You ARE / WERE
They ARE / WERE
I AM / WAS
He/She/It IS / WAS

Why have so many arbitrary rules about the verb 'be' for different
(already explicit) pronouns?  Why not this?

You ARE / WERE
They ARE / WERE
I ARE / WERE
He/She/It ARE / WERE

The only other 2 languages I've studied are French and Japanese and
though they had quite a few convoluted rules, they at least were more
consistent across the whole language (I haven't done much Kanji yet
:p).  The thing I like about katakana is there can't really be any
ambiguity over how anything is spelled yet it still lends itself well
to poetry and play-on-word jokes.  English is just riddled with so
many exceptional words that it's become a big in-joke that acts as a
barrier between those who know and those who don't.  So if Americans
went to spell 'colour' without the historically relevant but
pointlessly silent U and spell 'randomize' without writing S where you
actually pronounce Z then I say let them.

Oops.  I'll post this before I think of anything else I want to add.
neoeno says :   2 April 2008   489172  
I KNOW RIGHT.

My least favourite one is which/that (as in "The cat that ate the
cream" "the cat which ate the cream", to understand why fully you need
to understand the deep mechanics of English, at least the explanations
I've come across need that.

There's a constructed language called logiban that is pretty awesome.
It has little modifier words that change the tone of the sentence,
exactly like emoticons :P

Oh, and a lack of a full set of genderless pronouns for people, that's
not too great.
 

 
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