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English diglossia

From:Peter Clark <peter-clark@...>
Date:Thursday, January 30, 2003, 22:52
On Thursday 30 January 2003 01:50 pm, Sarah Marie Parker-Allen wrote:
> What IS the social cost of three-year-olds not knowing how to read?
None, really. I've heard the arguments and I just don't buy them. The plain and simple fact is that English dialects have diverged on such a wide scale that it would be impossible to invent a phonetic system to cover all of them. Why do you think we have monthly "I pronounce word X this way" threads? Want to cut the illiteracy rate? Boost educational funds and train parents how to parent better. A parent taking the time to read to a child on a regular and consistant basis is one of the best ways to promote literacy, and it promotes family bonding. Win-win, and a lot better for society in the long run then trying to change spelling. No offense to the supporters of English spelling reform, but it's a lot like auxlanging in my mind; interesting in theory, but annoying, futile, and pointless in real life. I have no problem with toying with different schemes (much like the ideal auxlang discussion, rather than the usual flame-fest), but hypothetical simulations are as far as these proposals are ever going to get. :Peter


John Cowan <jcowan@...>