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Re: more English orthography

From:John Cowan <jcowan@...>
Date:Tuesday, May 16, 2000, 15:18
Herman Miller wrote:

> Even with the same sounds, there are differences between dialects. Some > American dialects distinguish words that I don't (merry, marry, Mary), and > others make fewer distinctions (pin = pen).
An orthography with pretensions to be multi-dialectal should IMHO represent more distinctions rather than less. To recycle an example: it is better for a writer to wonder "Is it spelled 'theft' or 'feft'?", rather than for a reader to wonder "Does this represent 'lord' or 'laud'?" Therefore, a spelling system should be rhotic and keep vowels separate that have collapsed in some dialects. -- Schlingt dreifach einen Kreis um dies! || John Cowan <jcowan@...> Schliesst euer Aug vor heiliger Schau, || Denn er genoss vom Honig-Tau, || Und trank die Milch vom Paradies. -- Coleridge (tr. Politzer)