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Would you support a new writing system for English?

  1. Yes, major changes

    3 vote(s)
  2. Yes, but only minor changes

    6 vote(s)
  3. No, it's too much trouble

    12 vote(s)
  4. No, it's fine how it is

    9 vote(s)
  5. Don't care/don't know

    2 vote(s)
  1. Jul 31, 2005 #1


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    This could include changes to the alphabet, spelling, punctuation, capitalization, etc. - any rule for writing. But only writing; Everything would still be spoken the same way. So for instance, if you wanted to spell 'told' as 'telled', it would still be pronounced as 'told'.

    What would you keep or change? Why?
    Some ideas: new symbols for sounds such as sh (sheep), th (this), th (thank), ng (sing); consistent use of symbols for sounds - one symbol per sound and vice versa; removing 'slient' letters; no capitalization, capitalizing all nouns, etc.

    Consistency would certainly make things easier, but I don't know whether I would end up missing the history and variety. If there were a new system, I would start with a phonetic alphabet and spelling.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 31, 2005 #2
    There's already a symbol for sh - š.
  4. Jul 31, 2005 #3


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    I already know how to spell the language the way it is. It would be WAY too much trouble to start changing it now, at least purposefully. The language does change gradually over time already, and spelling changed dramatically with the introduction of Microsoft's spellchecker (they seem to have something against double consonants before -ed).
  5. Jul 31, 2005 #4
    Don't tell me, when the language gets changes the name will also get changed to Americish.
  6. Jul 31, 2005 #5
    Personally I think it is a terrible idea, having that many people change how they do things would be a pain. And I would not want to have to go back and learn more, or different, English.
  7. Jul 31, 2005 #6
    One thing that does seem inconsistent is the different writing styles in specific regional dialects. Color, in American English, is Colour in British English. Likewise with many other "or" to "our" sounds.

    There is also Southern/western (ya'll, hooey,etc) and Northeastern dialects (chowdah, or at least I think it is said like that, I'm not sure :confused:).
  8. Jul 31, 2005 #7
    "No matter how great the need or how profitable the outcome, spelling reform is always difficult to bring about"

    Do We Need Spelling Reform?

    Noah Webster, apparently, stands as the most successful reformer of English spelling. Other organized efforts have been made, with much less success.

    What's interesting to me from that site is the discovery that other languages have undergone deliberate reforms.
  9. Jul 31, 2005 #8


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    To institute "progressive spelling" programs, that is introducing new, reputedly more rational ways of spelling and regard the old ways as "incorrect" isn't really going to work. People are conservative, a better option is to introduce optional ways of spelling, rather than dismiss older spelling forms.

    In this manner, time will tell which form people prefers to use.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2005
  10. Jul 31, 2005 #9
    There are also slight variations in punctuation in sentence structure. In the American system, placing periods and commas are usually done within quotes "testing," rather than other systems "testing", that place the periods and commas outside of the quotation marks.

    English seems to be too much of a conundrum of a language to incite any rapid change. Then again, we could go back to the old wayf and fpell thingf with an f. :grumpy: :biggrin:
  11. Jul 31, 2005 #10


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    It would certainly help me, whats wrong with, "phonetic", spelling.

    Shampane, kristal, elefant, monolif, hurikane, etc, etc
  12. Jul 31, 2005 #11


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    I think it would be a stupid thing to do. not because it's a bad Idea, but because most americans are too stupid to learn a new system
  13. Jul 31, 2005 #12


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    I remember when Congress passed the Metric Conversion Act of 1975, the US was supposed to convert to the Metric system in 10 years. (for all you young ones out there, that's why we have sodas in liters, it was part of the conversion). The US Metric Board in charge of the conversion was dissolved in 1982 due to lack of cooperation from the public.

    I think the only way we're going to see changes to spelling made is the way it has already been taking place, gradually, with new words/spellings being adopted and the old ones falling out of popular use, the older spellings will be shown in the dictionary as "archaic", which is currently done. I have looked up words where two spellings were displayed, with a note stating that the new version was gaining in popular use, so was added.

    A good example is the word "alright".

    Main Entry: al·right
    Pronunciation: (")ol-'rIt, 'ol-"
    Function: adverb or adjective

    Usage - The one-word spelling alright appeared some 75 years after all right itself had reappeared from a 400-year-long absence. Since the early 20th century some critics have insisted alright is wrong, but it has its defenders and its users. It is less frequent than all right but remains in common use especially in journalistic and business publications. It is quite common in fictional dialogue, and is used occasionally in other writing <the first two years of medical school were alright -- Gertrude Stein>.

    http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/dictionary?book=Dictionary&va=alright&x=9&y=14 [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 2, 2017
  14. Jul 31, 2005 #13


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    [offtopic]our school teaches both metric and english systems[/offtopic]
  15. Jul 31, 2005 #14
    me thinks we fhould confult Galager on thif one.
  16. Jul 31, 2005 #15


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    The s is normal at the end of a word, smartafs. :tongue2:

    The advantage of a phonetic alphabet and spelling is that you just spell things the way they sound - you only need to learn the alphabet! I picked up a phonetic alphabet in no time. Most of the consonants can stay the same; The vowels are more trouble, but it didn't take more than a few hours of practice to adjust to them.

    However, now that I've given it more thought, some current spellings do give hints about word structure, which would be lost with phonetic spelling. For instance, the plural -s, as in cats and dogs, is sometimes pronounced as (cats) and sometimes as [z] (dogs). The -ed on words like whined wouldn't be obvious - whined would be spelled the same as wind (verb). Phonetic spelling would give less consistency in this and some other cases. Double letters resulting from affixes (unnecessary) would vanish. All of the homophones (piece/peace) would become indistinguishable, and so on. But this stuff doesn't cause problems in speech, so I'm not sure how big of a deal it would be.
    But just think - the long [e] in piece, peace, freeze, seize, flea, bee, stereo, spaghetti, etc. would always be written with the same symbol!

    Oh well, I just wanted your opinions. Thanks.
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2005
  17. Jul 31, 2005 #16


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    This is what makes me laugh. Even when you give in to pressure from Europe for metrication, you still insist on spelling your units differently!

    And please, can the USians stop calling Imperial units 'English' units? We're more metric than you by miles, uhh, kilometers! :smile:
  18. Jul 31, 2005 #17
    The thing that amazes me so far is that poll distribution....who would have thought?
  19. Jul 31, 2005 #18


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    Yeah, I thought most speakers thought English writing was too 'complicated'. Maybe they think change is just more 'complicated'.? zooby's post is interesting so far...
  20. Jul 31, 2005 #19

    no...I mean the shape of the poll..... :bugeye:
  21. Jul 31, 2005 #20


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    I thought the exact opposite HRW! I was surprised that there were so many votes for change!
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