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  1. SonnehLee
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    SonnehLee Contributing Member Contributor

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    Should It Really Be That Difficult?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by SonnehLee, Sep 22, 2009.

    I read a poem today, which I'm going to post here. Then I have an important question: should it really be that difficult?

    Source

    I put in a spoiler because it was long.

    Try reading this aloud. And then tell me what you think. Would it be beneficial to change the english language to a phonetic language? to re-vamp the spelling system?
     
  2. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    Gurl! :eek:

    You know I bin' toutin' the reformist flag since God was a little boy, and no one takes me seriously. Every excuse in the book comes out as to why spelling reform for English in this day and age is a bad idea.

    *sigh*

    ^ See! Look! Even my heavy hearted sigh has the most inane spelling one could ask for. What is a G doing in that word? Nothing, that's what. That's just ridiculous. If you wanted to be bored to tears, I could explain to you why there is a G in the word sigh, but the fact of the matter is that it doesn't matter why it is there. It only matters that it no longer makes any kind of sense to spell that word that way.

    /rant.

    :redface:
     
  3. SonnehLee
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    SonnehLee Contributing Member Contributor

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    The most surprising one from the poem for me: victual's pronunciation = vittl

    And Wrey, I knew you would like this thread. Spelling reform all the way!
     
  4. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    All I have to say is: Why fix what isn't broken?

    We have been using the English language in this way for a very long time, to alter it now would only create more problems than it is worth.

    I mean if you were to decide to alter the way our language is spelt, language would then be spelt how it sounds, right?! Langwage, langwadg, - does not seem right.
     
  5. Mercurial
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    Mercurial Contributing Member Contributor

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    I dont know the origins of the English language, except that it's Germanic. Perhaps it should have been better construed at the time, but English usually the default official language internationally and is the most widely known. (Not to be confused with Mandarin Chinese --the most widely spoken, because of Chinese populations.) If English can survive as long as it has and be learned worldwide, then I see no reason for reform.
    Although I would point out that languages are always changing, as they reflect our ever0evolving culture. Old English, modern English --and we've even deviated from that. Modern English was around the time Shakespeare published.

    So should we have an official reform? No. The language adjusts with the times. It has some funny kinks to it, and it's certainly one of the ugliest of the languages (right up there with German, if you ask me), but if it has survived as the official language, surely people can learn it. It's just the question of will they?

    Edit: Yeah, what Tor said. ;) She got there first, and said it better than I did.
     
  6. CDRW
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    CDRW Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hey, at least English doesn't have an entirely seperate alphabet for words that come from foreign countries like some languages that shall remain unnamed by me.
     
  7. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    I was just too lazy to say it differently! :p lol!
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    if by difficult, you meant to read properly, i don't know if it should, or not... can only say it's not, for me, i found no 'hard' words in it at all...

    and if you meant difficult due to the multiple pronunciations of many look-alike words, 'should' doesn't really apply, since it IS... and since english is such a blend of so many other languages, it's not surprising...

    for anyone to advocate changing this rich and fascinating blend into a more-easily-digested-by-all kind of pablum would be a mortal sin, imo...
     
  9. Gigi_GNR
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    Gigi_GNR Guys, come on. WAFFLE-O. Contributor

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    I wholeheartedly agree!
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    No one designed the English language. It evolved from several distinct linguistic sources, and continues to do so. You might want to read The Story of English by Robert McCrum, William Cran, and Robert MacNeil.
     
  11. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    It is a surprise to me since all major Indo-European languages spoken today can make the exact same claim. So can the vast majority of major languages from the other language families around the world.

    Outside of the actual Celtic languages still with us today, Spanish has one of the largest repositories of Celtic words and word roots to be found. This doesn't keep the language for regularizing these words and word roots to the language's spelling system. The gigantic number of words of Arabic origin in Spanish are also spelled in a manner that makes sense to the language. No Sanskrit script is in evidence.

    The major players in the world of English are The U.K., America, Canada, and Australia. All amazing countries for the richness and diversity that they represent and for which they are famous. The idiosyncratic nature of the major language spoken in these countries is, to me, a barrier to more inclusion of richness and diversity.
     
  12. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    English is the dominant world language though; its not expected to compromise itself to include or accomodate other languages, other languages compromise themselves to accomodate English. This is why you find more and more English words (which are themselves derivatives of other languages) being inserted into other languages. The French have "le hamburger", Southeast Asian languages (this example is Malay) adopt things like 'komputer' and 'eskalator'.
     
  13. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Don't kid yourself. English is actively borrowing from other languages, too. Bistro, kaffeeklatsch, faux, doppelganger, putz, barrio, Meister, machismo, ...

    It's not a one way street, capisce?
     
  14. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    And this will always happen and has always happened since the beginning of people of different languages having contact with one another. Still, I find it difficult to apply any reasoning other than nostalgia to the spelling of the word laughter. It contains three letters that have nothing at all to do with the pronunciation.
     
  15. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Obviously it rhymes with slaughter.
     
  16. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    it's spelled capisce, cog!

    and only pronounced with the 'h' sound... capisce?

    abbracci e bacci, m [who's half sicilian/italian--the dominant half! ;-) ]
     

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