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Gorn
2014-Aug-10, 04:11 AM
Hello. I have been encountering spelling and grammar mistakes in articles I have read on the internet, in newspapers(somewhere I 'thot' I read they are supposed to know better)and
I think in magazines.

It has been bothering me for a few years now. Finding it hard to read..or certainly to respect the writers. Note: one of the grammar issues that bothers me the most is the "a" or "an"
usage. Mentally..drivers me crazy.

I think a correct spelling revolution is required. Would make for better reading everywhere. Does anyone agree?

Bye
G
PS. Does anyone know about all those crappy pdf files out there on the internet? Or..those horrible 'media' event tools that are used by some organizations? Also, I think the world should be informed that if you are going to hold an event where you have a speaker with a microphone..and there are potential questions from an audience....it should be 'mandatory' that you should have a microphone for anyone who wants to speak in the audience instead of them speaking from the 'dungeon' which then gets posted on youtube.

Example:https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B6X34ThOE4NNdjdMNmJnaUJja1U1VVAxQUFaanVid0kteGVz/edit?pli=1
Can anyone tell me what might be wrong with this 'thing'?...

Trebuchet
2014-Aug-10, 05:02 AM
Wye dew yew ask?

Shaula
2014-Aug-10, 08:37 AM
I think every attempt at regularising English ends up being clunkier and less mellifluous than the original.

Also you are missing an important point about English - no one tells it how to be! English is defined by its usage (unlike French for example) and therefore if enough people saw the point to this then it would happen. Or would have already have happened.

Edit: Wait, rereading your post I think I have the wrong end of the stick. I saw revolution and assumed. If you just mean people should learn to spell correctly then ... um ... yes?

Jens
2014-Aug-10, 08:58 AM
What do you mean by an a / an mistake? Do you mean you read articles using "a apple" or "an bird"? I don't think it's a particularly common error...

Rick Nowell
2014-Aug-10, 10:45 AM
Note: one of the grammar issues that bothers me the most is the "a" or "an"

Use of 'a' or 'an' (gramatically the indefinite article) depends on the vowel sound, rather than just depending on whether the word begins with a vowel.

But do people say (as an example) 'hey, I've just bought an MP3 player' or 'hey, I've just bought a MP3 player'?

Hlafordlaes
2014-Aug-10, 11:24 AM
True. One reason why I believe that many say "a whole nother ball game." Hard to say "whole" followed by "other," since to distinguish the words without the extra "n" we'd need a glottal stop, which is not as comfortable. Haven't read up on it, but I imagine the use of the "n" is based on analogy with "another," else we might say "a whole mother ball game." However, I'm guessing there is more than one way to parse the issues.

At any rate, in English we seem to mostly avoid glottal stops. (Say "a apple." What you stick between them is a glottal stop.)

swampyankee
2014-Aug-10, 11:41 AM
English grammar rules are no worse than those of French, and easier than those of German (at least from my attempts to learn both in the distant past).

English spelling doesn't map well to pronunciation, but the same problem will always persist: there are numerous regional variations in pronunciation, making it impossible for a reformed spelling to be universal.

JohnD
2014-Aug-10, 11:52 AM
Gorn,
The problem may bethat intenet publictaion removs totally the usuela routine of subeditong and typrsetting, that irons out all the typing and pselelign mistakes that humanity is heir to.

When no one bothers to, even when they do, or when they purposely don't check, as I did in my first sentence, all sorts on infelicities creep in. I fear that is what happened in your own post, "Mentally..drivers me crazy." A petard, a veritable petard!

John

Paul Beardsley
2014-Aug-10, 12:09 PM
Use of 'a' or 'an' (gramatically the indefinite article) depends on the vowel sound, rather than just depending on whether the word begins with a vowel.

Exactly.


But do people say (as an example) 'hey, I've just bought an MP3 player' or 'hey, I've just bought a MP3 player'?

I don't think so. A teacher who joined the National Union of Teachers and who enjoys consuming brazils, almonds etc. is likely to say, "I'm an NUT member and a nut eater."

Strange
2014-Aug-10, 12:13 PM
I don't think so.

You can't say that in response to an "or" question. (Unless you think they say neither!) But I assume from the rest of your answer you agree it would be more standard to say "an MP3 player"?

schlaugh
2014-Aug-10, 12:15 PM
Blame at least half of the a/an errors on smartphone keyboards...and poor proofreading.

Paul Beardsley
2014-Aug-10, 12:21 PM
You can't say that in response to an "or" question. (Unless you think they say neither!) But I assume from the rest of your answer you agree it would be more standard to say "an MP3 player"?

You are quite right, both in picking up the mistake and suggesting a correction.

Strange
2014-Aug-10, 12:31 PM
Blame at least half of the a/an errors on smartphone keyboards...

Yes, predictive text isn't yet smart enough to know what word you are going to type next.

Jeff Root
2014-Aug-10, 12:57 PM
There is some difference between American and British useage
of "a" and "an". I don't have examples handy, but I personally
say "a history" but "an historical", for example. I wonder if that
sort of variation feeds the OP's perception of a problem.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

Strange
2014-Aug-10, 01:12 PM
There is some difference between American and British useage
of "a" and "an". I don't have examples handy, but I personally
say "a history" but "an historical", for example.

I don't think that example is a UK/US difference. But there are difference with some abbreviations where British English is more likely to pronounce it as a word and Americans are more likely to spell it out. (I can't think of an example, either!)

Hornblower
2014-Aug-10, 02:00 PM
There is some difference between American and British useage
of "a" and "an". I don't have examples handy, but I personally
say "a history" but "an historical", for example. I wonder if that
sort of variation feeds the OP's perception of a problem.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

This is a case in which the initial sound of the word is intermediate between an obvious consonant and an obvious vowel, and becomes less consonant-like when the first syllable is unstressed as in "historical". The standard use could evolve one way or the other in different dialects depending on how much or how little of a huff is commonly given the initial "h".

HenrikOlsen
2014-Aug-10, 02:25 PM
And then there's the dialects where the initial "h" is silent, so it's "an 'istorical". :)

Rick Nowell
2014-Aug-10, 03:24 PM
Indian English, or 'Hinglish', always comes up with something different from 'correct' English. It should be noted that about 7% of Indians speak English fluently and that there are 18 languages. However, some people see English as an unwelcome leftover of British colonialism. But even English that is written professionally can be unusual:

English Language in India
http://www.indianetzone.com/39/english_language_india.htm
"The sole reason behind English language in India been laid such accentuation lies manifested in the fact that India had once extensively served as a British colony. When the so-called British Empire began its domination upon India, they had indeed scouted for Indian intermediaries who could aid them to administer India more graciously. Reviewing the then Indian scenario, the English rulers turned towards higher caste Indians to work for them."

This is an article from the Times of India:
'Ali Fazal: I will not do multi-starrer films
Actor Ali Fazal has decided to be a part of solo lead films following the success of his last release 'Bobby Jasoos'. The 27-year-old actor, who started his career in Bollywood with multi-starrers including '3 Idiots' and 'Fukrey', said he would like to do bigger roles now. "My next two films will have me in lead roles and that show people are putting trust in me. All my earlier films were either multi-starrer or did not have me in the prime focus but I would now want to change that. I will refrain from doing small roles and films with more than one hero," Ali told in an interview."'
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/hindi/bollywood/news/Ali-Fazal-I-will-not-do-multi-starrer-films/articleshow/40008127.cms


In the reply sections of online newpaper articles the world over one can find unusual language use. Indian online news sites can provide a glimpse of colloquial 'Hinglish'. These are from The Economic Times of India:

Quiet Modiís High-Risk Plan: My Actions Will Talk by Saubhik Chakrabarti
http://blogs.economictimes.indiatimes.com/TheContrarianCapitalist/entry/quiet-modi-s-high-risk-plan-my-actions-will-talk

reply from 'Devendra Choudhary':
"I APPRECIATE PERFORMER MODI, NOT PARROT MODI TELLING DAILY SOME THING & SELLING DREAMS. LET US DISTINGUISH BETWEEN ELECTION PERIOD & POST ELECTION PERIOD WHEN YOU ARE ON THE HIGHEST POSITION & HAVE THE PRESSURE OF UPBRINGING THINGS IN RIGHT ORDER. FEW CAN AFFORD THE DARE TO PERFORM SILENTLY. MODI IS SUCH."

reply from 'Nick':
"ROME WAS NOT BUILT IN A DAY AND SO PATIENCE WILL PAY. One cannot expect Miracles Modi has inicitiated a lot in many field of Infrastructure and his actions will certainly not speak but shout".

reply from 'PranRazdan':
"The author is right. PM must speak to the nation frequently.I expected him to start his term with an address to the nation on Tv and repeat this every month or two to talk on imp matters of public concern.His total silence is reverse of his image he created of himself in elections. It is not helpful"

grant hutchison
2014-Aug-10, 04:20 PM
Indian English, or 'Hinglish', always comes up with something different from 'correct' English. It should be noted that about 7% of Indians speak English fluently and that there are 18 languages.Something over 1500 recognized languages in India, of which 30 are spoken by more than a million people. The banknotes are marked in seventeen different languages - large text in Hindi and English, plus a language panel (http://www.rbi.org.in/currency/Language%20Panel%20on%20Notes.html) containing fifteen more languages.

Grant Hutchison

grant hutchison
2014-Aug-10, 04:23 PM
I don't think that example is a UK/US difference. But there are difference with some abbreviations where British English is more likely to pronounce it as a word and Americans are more likely to spell it out. (I can't think of an example, either!)And one can occasonially work out whether a person pronounces the abbreviation or spells it out, judging from whether they write "a" or "an" before it. (And I can't think of an example at the moment!)

Grant Hutchison

Rick Nowell
2014-Aug-11, 07:51 AM
Something over 1500 recognized languages in India, of which 30 are spoken by more than a million people. The banknotes are marked in seventeen different languages - large text in Hindi and English, plus a language panel (http://www.rbi.org.in/currency/Language%20Panel%20on%20Notes.html) containing fifteen more languages. Grant Hutchison

Thankyou for your clarification. More people in India speak English than there are people in the UK. It is also one of the two offical languages of Pakistan, but not the national language.

grapes
2014-Aug-11, 03:35 PM
And one can occasonially work out whether a person pronounces the abbreviation or spells it out, judging from whether they write "a" or "an" before it. (And I can't think of an example at the moment!)

Two online article titles:
What you should know before buying a SUV (http://www.edmunds.com/suv/before-buy.html)
and
What's the difference between a crossover and an SUV? (http://auto.howstuffworks.com/car-models/crossover-cars/difference-between-crossover-and-suv.htm)

Heid the Ba'
2014-Aug-11, 03:48 PM
This is an article from the Times of India:


A splendid publication which still sometimes refers to miscreants as "dacoits" or "thugees".

grant hutchison
2014-Aug-11, 05:18 PM
A splendid publication which still sometimes refers to miscreants as "dacoits" or "thugees".I believe there still is (or was until recently) a crime of dacoity in India - armed robbery by a small group of people.

Grant Hutchison

Ivan Bilic
2014-Aug-13, 12:51 AM
Hello. I have been encountering spelling and grammar mistakes in articles I have read on the internet, in newspapers(somewhere I 'thot' I read they are supposed to know better)and
I think in magazines.

It has been bothering me for a few years now. Finding it hard to read..or certainly to respect the writers. Note: one of the grammar issues that bothers me the most is the "a" or "an"
usage. Mentally..drivers me crazy.

I think a correct spelling revolution is required. Would make for better reading everywhere. Does anyone agree?

Bye
G
PS. Does anyone know about all those crappy pdf files out there on the internet? Or..those horrible 'media' event tools that are used by some organizations? Also, I think the world should be informed that if you are going to hold an event where you have a speaker with a microphone..and there are potential questions from an audience....it should be 'mandatory' that you should have a microphone for anyone who wants to speak in the audience instead of them speaking from the 'dungeon' which then gets posted on youtube.

Example:https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B6X34ThOE4NNdjdMNmJnaUJja1U1VVAxQUFaanVid0kteGVz/edit?pli=1
Can anyone tell me what might be wrong with this 'thing'?...

Well, english is not my native language. I was learning it in school for long time, and i've been using it in large amounts on internet. But there is one problem with internet. Probably majority of people who use English on web are not born english speakers. As me. So, i am actually learning english every day from people like myself, who do lot of grammatical errors. It is very hard to learn grammar this way....

Ivan Bilic
2014-Aug-13, 01:04 AM
Very good example of "wild english" one can find on Cnn's facebook page (https://m.facebook.com/cnn?refsrc=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2Furl&_rdr) which i am visiting every day. If you look at the comments below articles, you'll find everything. Wild English, arab, chinese, spanish, etc....

Ivan Bilic
2014-Aug-13, 01:12 AM
Gorn,
The problem may bethat intenet publictaion removs totally the usuela routine of subeditong and typrsetting, that irons out all the typing and pselelign mistakes that humanity is heir to.

When no one bothers to, even when they do, or when they purposely don't check, as I did in my first sentence, all sorts on infelicities creep in. I fear that is what happened in your own post, "Mentally..drivers me crazy." A petard, a veritable petard!

John

like(+1).


Mentally..drivers me crazy.

lol.:)

Heid the Ba'
2014-Aug-13, 08:00 AM
I believe there still is (or was until recently) a crime of dacoity in India - armed robbery by a small group of people.

Grant Hutchison
Splendid, if I am ever convicted of a crime I want it to be dacoity. My previous favourite was the Scots crime of "hamesucken", breaking into someone's house to assault them.

Strange
2014-Aug-13, 08:19 AM
Splendid, if I am ever convicted of a crime I want it to be dacoity. My previous favourite was the Scots crime of "hamesucken", breaking into someone's house to assault them.

I have always liked the apparent contradiction of "depraved indifference".

And always baffled by the US Immigration question as to whether I have ever been guilty of "moral turpitude" - I have no idea but it appears to be OK to tick "no".

Jens
2014-Aug-13, 10:05 AM
Splendid, if I am ever convicted of a crime I want it to be dacoity. My previous favourite was the Scots crime of "hamesucken", breaking into someone's house to assault them.

Wow. It sounds more like the crime of eating cured pork without chewing it properly. 😊

Heid the Ba'
2014-Aug-13, 12:51 PM
I have always liked the apparent contradiction of "depraved indifference".

And always baffled by the US Immigration question as to whether I have ever been guilty of "moral turpitude" - I have no idea but it appears to be OK to tick "no".
Yes I always put "no" for that one as well without having much idea what it means.

Edit to remove error.

Delvo
2014-Aug-19, 12:34 AM
I think every attempt at regularising English ends up being clunkier and less mellifluous than the original.I've seen a few suggested new spelling systems, mostly intentionally designed to be absurd in order to mock the idea of ever making English phonetic. The same thing is wrong with all of them: proposing new general rules instead of just sticking to the rules we already have and simply following them, eliminating exceptions and common ambiguities like "ea" and functionless final "e". The way to make it work is just to quit telling people that certain spellings are "wrong" and let them spell stuff the way it sounds. A general consensus of phonetic spellings will naturally emerge. (Then we can use that as the new standard for the "right" spellings, if we want to have one.) Those who complain about English's spelling might be surprised to find out that by far most words would get rather minor or no changes this way and the "new system" would be pretty quick & easy to get accustomed to, because most of the big exceptions to our spelling "rules" are in a rather small number of words (which might stand out just because they're fairly common), like "do" and "of". For example, here is how this entire paragraph would turn out:


I'v seen a few suggested new spelling systems, mostly intentionally desined tu be absurd in order tu mock the idea ov ever making English phonetic. The same thing is rong with all ov them: proposing new general rules insted ov just sticking tu the rules we alreddy hav and simply following them, eliminating exceptions and common ambiguitys like "ea" and functionless final "e". The way tu make it work is just to quit telling peeple that certain spellings ar "rong" and let them spell stuff the way it sounds. A general consensus ov phonetic spellings will naturally emerge. (Then we can use that as the new standard for the "rite" spellings, if we want to hav one.) Those hu complain about English's spelling mite be surprised tu find out that bi far most words wood get rather minor or no changes this way and the "new system" wood be pretty quick & eesy tu get accustomed tu, because most of the big exceptions tu our spelling "rules" ar in a rather small number ov words (which mite stand out just because they'r fairly common), like "du" and "ov". For example, here is how this entire paragraph wood turn out.

It really doesn't look like a big deal.

German, BTW, has standard spellings but also updates the standard spelling system from time to time. For example, the word for "valley", the "thal" in "Neanderthal", is "tal" now.


Very good example of "wild english"... you'll find everything. Wild English...What is "Wild English"?

grapes
2014-Aug-19, 10:30 AM
For example, here is how this entire paragraph would turn out:


I'v seen a few suggested new spelling systems, mostly intentionally desined tu be absurd in order tu mock the idea ov ever making English phonetic. The same thing is rong with all ov them: proposing new general rules insted ov just sticking tu the rules we alreddy hav and simply following them, eliminating exceptions and common ambiguitys like "ea" and functionless final "e". The way tu make it work is just to quit telling peeple that certain spellings ar "rong" and let them spell stuff the way it sounds. A general consensus ov phonetic spellings will naturally emerge. (Then we can use that as the new standard for the "rite" spellings, if we want to hav one.) Those hu complain about English's spelling mite be surprised tu find out that bi far most words wood get rather minor or no changes this way and the "new system" wood be pretty quick & eesy tu get accustomed tu, because most of the big exceptions tu our spelling "rules" ar in a rather small number ov words (which mite stand out just because they'r fairly common), like "du" and "ov". For example, here is how this entire paragraph wood turn out.

I noticed the functionless final "e", it disappears in are and have, even when contracted. The final e of mite and rite stays, presumably to lengthen the i, but then you use bi without the e. What's the function of the final e in emerge? To soften the g? Why not just emerj? One has a final e, is it spelled the same as won?

What is the singular of rules?

Rick Nowell
2014-Aug-19, 11:48 AM
The way to make it work is just to quit telling people that certain spellings are "wrong" and let them spell stuff the way it sounds.

Txt (SMS) messaging is probably the most 'utilitarian' spelling available. If I txt on my phone:
"Ill c u @ 3", then the sentence "I'll see you at three" has been reduced from 17 characters to 7 characters, yet is understandable.

Yet in G. Orwell's book 1984, the minimalist 'Newspeak', which reduces the amount of words available and simplifies the spelling of the remaining words, is part of social control by a totalitarian regime. So at what stage does a utilitarian vocab become a totalitarian vocab? Is it that who controls language controls thought?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Text_speak

Gillianren
2014-Aug-19, 03:03 PM
A general consensus of phonetic spellings will naturally emerge.

How will we spell "uncle's wife"? There are two completely acceptable spellings for the word in question. There is a nut that makes an excellent pie that can be spelled two ways, not to mention a candy made by boiling the heck out of sugar. This claim gets made a lot, and mostly it serves to make linguists laugh.

swampyankee
2014-Aug-19, 03:31 PM
Which phonetic spelling? Received Pronunciation? Boston? Liverpool? Atlanta? Brisbane? Kansas? French has a national academy (and spelling about as regular as English: -ez,-er, e acute, cedillas, fils, silent "h", ....). English doesn't, and won't until St Lucia takes over the English-speaking world.

Strange
2014-Aug-19, 04:24 PM
A general consensus of phonetic spellings will naturally emerge.

It didn't in the several centuries before printers and publishers decided on certain spellings. So I see no reason why it wouldn't just get equally chaotic (except that publishers will carry on providing a standard).

Strange
2014-Aug-19, 04:29 PM
For example, here is how this entire paragraph would turn out:

Why "tu" and "hu" but "wood"? Why not "too" or "wud"?

Why "ov" and not "av" or "awv" or ... ?

Why "quik" and not "kuik" or "kwik"?

Why "common" and not "komon"?

Apart from different regional (and class) pronunciations to choose from, there is also the problem that standard British English, for example, has about 13 vowel sounds, but only 5 symbols to write them.

Jeff Root
2014-Aug-19, 07:14 PM
Strange,

Delvo's "system" obviously doesn't try very hard to have a
one-to-one correspondence between symbols and phonemes.
Instead it appears to try to differ as little as possible from
the current spellings. When I developed my own phonetic
alphabet, before I learned how extensive the IPA is, I had a
particular problem with the "ah" sound in "father" and "bother".
The IPA symbol is "ɑ", which resembles both "a" and "o", but
all of the dictionaries I had access to used either "š" or "o"
(or in two cases, "ŏ") depending on the the spelling of the
word. For internal consistancy of my system, I chose "o".



Why "tu" and "hu" but "wood"? Why not "too" or "wud"?
The vowel phonemes in "to" and "would" are different:

to tu too two who ew hoop - My symbol is "ū". IPA is "u".

would wood hood put - My symbol is like "ů", but with a solid
dot, not a ring. IPA is similar to "υ". Windows Character Map
didn't have the exact symbol for either of these.

My system has 51 symbols for English phonemes plus eight
more for phonemes in foreign words often used in English.

One of the few real improvements of my system over any of
my dictionaries is my distinction between these two vowels:

I eye buy bye high hide - My symbol is "ī". IPA is "ɑɪ".

ice item bite height - My symbol is "ǐ". IPA is unknown.

None of the dictionaries I had distinguished between these
two phonemes.

-- Jeff, in Minneapolis

profloater
2014-Aug-19, 09:24 PM
Yes I always put "no" for that one as well without having much idea what it means.

Edit to remove error.

Turpitude is a lovely word I think it means laziness but moral turpitude is slightly different, but who indeed would answer "yes"
Someone with moral turpitude would obviously lie out of habit.

Delvo
2014-Aug-19, 11:42 PM
What's the function of the final e in emerge? To soften the g? Why not just emerj?Without telling people what's right & wrong, maybe some would do it that way. And maybe it would catch on. I doubt it, though, because people will stay close to what they're already familiar with in most cases, and only change what seems to really need it.

That same answer applies to other questions that could be thrown at me about how to spell a word. Whatever solution you come up with, others probably will too, and eventually, people will come to think of one of them as looking normal & reasonable and the others as weird. Some words with known, clear, sharp dichotomies in pronunciation could even end up with more than one spelling, like with & without a silent-for-some initial "h", but so what? At least the difference would be an actual indicator of pronunciation, unlike some spelling divergences we already have, like "draft/draught" and all of the words ending with "or/our".


One has a final e, is it spelled the same as won?I actually do have a pretty simple solution for the one/win/won thing, but don't want to specify it because it would detract from my real point here, which is non-insistence on any particular solution (and non-dependence of the overall scheme on having such perfect solutions for every single conceivable dilemma). The one that settles out from large numbers of people individually doing what seems to make sense to them will be what it is.


Which phonetic spelling? Received Pronunciation? Boston? Liverpool? Atlanta? Brisbane? Kansas?It doesn't matter. Southern Americans and Irish have the most different ideas from everybody else on what the "i" in "time" sounds like, but they all agree that whatever sound they would use in that word, "i" represents it. And without anybody telling them it's wrong to write it that way, they'll use the letter the way they're accustomed to using it.


Delvo's "system" obviously doesn't try very hard to have a
one-to-one correspondence between symbols and phonemes.
Instead it appears to try to differ as little as possible from
the current spellings.Exactly, because that's what people would do in real life and the whole idea is to let them do what they'll do (at least at first).


ɑ... š... ŏ... ū... ů... ī... ǐThis reminds me of a problem I've run into recently that isn't related to the subject of English spelling (although adding diacrticial marks to English is one of those things that could help a lot but won't ever happen), but this is where it came up, so...

When encoding non-standard letters for HTML, particularly those that consist of a normal letter plus a diacritical mark, at first I thought, based on some examples I'd seen, that the key was to use "&" followed by the base letter (capital for capital, lowercase for lowercase) followed by the name of the diacritical mark followed by ";". (I was already familiar with "&-;" as brackets for special characters anyway from the "lt", "gt", "amp", and "nbsp" examples.) But it didn't always work, apparently depending on the location of the file I was reading. For example, when I wrote an HTML file in Notepad and used that trick for "s" "c" and "z" each with a caron over it, all three worked while I viewed the results in a browser on my local disk. But when I copied the contents into a post at a website, it only worked for the "s", and the others were displayed on the webpage as the raw codes "č" and "ž", in the same browser that had displayed them as the intended special characters locally. My theory is that those are like nicknames, and the actual universal codes that they refer to are the Unicode numbers in the format "&#-;" like I'm used to for the Hebrew, Arabic, and Cyrillic alphabets... and that somehow the file location host is responsible for looking up what Unicode number each nickname refers to and they might not all be using the same reference list.

If so, then the only way to be sure to always get the characters I want would be to always use the Unicode number, not the nickname. But then, which Unicode number is really the real one? Sometimes the same character could theoretically be produced either by a single unique code or by the normal base letter followed by a separate "adding" code which exists to add a diacritical mark to whatever letter precedes it. Which one is the true, base-level method, and which one is the stand-in that relies on the host looking up a connection to the real thing, which apparently some hosts can't be relied on to do?

Strange
2014-Aug-19, 11:43 PM
I had a
particular problem with the "ah" sound in "father" and "bother".

In British English they are completely different.


The vowel phonemes in "to" and "would" are different:

For some people. But in general, it would be enough to distinguish them as long and short /u/ sounds.


One of the few real improvements of my system over any of
my dictionaries is my distinction between these two vowels:

I eye buy bye high hide - My symbol is "ī". IPA is "ɑɪ".

ice item bite height - My symbol is "ǐ". IPA is unknown.

Those are identical in standard British English.

So, do you end up with different spellings in the UK and US? (I know, I know...) And different spellings for the north and south of each country?


My system has 51 symbols for English phonemes

I suspect it will never catch on.

Amber Robot
2014-Aug-19, 11:51 PM
I don't think you can change the grammar or spelling of a language all at once. What will happen over time is that it will evolve, as it has, and there will be a group of people grumbling about it all the way. Count me as a grumbler; I have my particular peeves about language and what I think it important to keep or change about current usage. I dislike reading text that has lots of grammar and spelling errors -- similarly to how I don't like listening to music that is played out of tune -- but I understand that not everyone feels that way, and people put various amounts of importance on their adherence to "rules", especially in non-formal venues. Over time these "errors" will no longer be errors, as I'm sure there are grammatical constructions, definitions, and spellings that I currently use, and think are correct, that someone in the past would feel are "wrong".

swampyankee
2014-Aug-21, 11:28 AM
English, depending on variety, has 14 to maybe 20 vowel phonemes, and variable numbers of consonant sounds. Rhotic or non-rhotic "r", anyone? It is impossible to have spelling that's regular for all of them. Does the word for that thing you stick flowers in rhyme with ace or oz? Is the t silent in often? Does route rhyme with boot or out?

Strange
2014-Aug-21, 05:25 PM
Does the word for that thing you stick flowers in rhyme with ace or oz?

Neither. :)


Does route rhyme with boot or out?

Quite possibly both.

NEOWatcher
2014-Aug-21, 06:31 PM
Neither. :)
You use florist foam?

Strange
2014-Aug-21, 06:45 PM
You use florist foam?


:clap:

Hornblower
2014-Aug-21, 11:06 PM
With human nature being what it is, my hunch is that to create a perfectly regular alphabetical spelling system for a language that does not already have one, you would have to start with a language that is still preliterate, if any are still being spoken by a significant number of people. Such was the case with the Senufo tribal nation in northern Ivory Coast in 1951, when it was still part of French West Africa. My aunt and uncle, missionaries in the region, started a lifetime project of creating an alphabet system for them and translating the Bible into the language. They started with rough phonetic spelling in French, and then added diacritical marks to letters as needed to create a unique symbol for each phoneme. By 1980 or so they insisted that Senufo has become the best-alphabetized language on the face of the Earth. The project was successful because the people had no prior tradition of irregular phonics.

swampyankee
2014-Aug-22, 12:41 AM
English, depending on variety, has 14 to maybe 20 vowel phonemes, and variable numbers of consonant sounds. Rhotic or non-rhotic "r", anyone? It is impossible to have spelling that's regular for all of them. Does the word for that thing you stick flowers in rhyme with ace or oz? Is the t silent in often? Does route rhyme with boot or out?

Clarifying: vase.

And boot or bout.

Silly me; I forgot boot and out rhyme in Canadian, eh.