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Re: Spelling Changes in English and how to do it.

From:Thomas R. Wier <artabanos@...>
Date:Wednesday, December 1, 1999, 2:13
Charles wrote:

> abrigon wrote: > > > Well, one way to do it is to have the Dictionary companies support it. > > After all that is how Ben Franklin did it back in c.1780 > > If anything have the "spelling changes"as ALTERNATE spelling of words, > > and then get the computer software people to support it, especially > > those who do wordprocessors..
> But I "oppose" (with all my armies and navies??) reform of > spelling in the great natural languages, so as to maintain > some small cultural connection with our endangered past.
I dunno. I think the idea of a "cultural connection" to the past is pretty much a chimaera inasmuch as people don't really think about etymology everyday. The etymology matters as much to most people as the words "E pluribus unum" or "In God We Trust" do on US currency -- they just don't think about it, unless someone points it out. They're symbols of the pedigree of the words, just as the mottos are symbols of the pedigree of the US for Americans, but pedigrees have little practical use in and of themselves (certainly, no one would get anywhere today basing a government system on people's pedigrees -- even the British are doing away with that! 8P). The past manifests itself in ways for which we usually need no overt reminder. The intolerance of Kosovo of hundreds of years ago reenacts itself every week before our eyes -- as it did the other day, when a group of Albanian Kosovars celebrating Flag Day mobbed a Slav's car, dragged him out and shot him. No, the past itself has little worth unless you examine its consequences, and etymology in and of itself is a poor tool to achieve that when people are ignorant of the achievements and actions of ages past -- indeed, would more people read history if more people were functionally literate? I think so -- and maybe spelling reform (of some kind) would be a method of achieving that. ====================================== Tom Wier <artabanos@...> ICQ#: 4315704 AIM: Deuterotom Website: <> "Cogito ergo sum, sed credo ergo ero." Non cuicumque datum est habere nasum. It is not given to just anyone to have a nose. -- Martial ======================================