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

From:Charles <catty@...>
Date:Wednesday, December 1, 1999, 3:04
"Thomas R. Wier" wrote:

> > 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.
[snipped most of Tom's thoughtful reply to my vague statement]
> people don't really think about etymology everyday.
It's automatic, unconscious. English is more a textual than spoken language for me, so spelling changes would be catastrophic. Those cultural connections run back to Roman/Greek times, whereas spoken language changes so quickly that my own dialect is already disappearing into the "grandfatherly" class. I much prefer the company of Shakespeare to whatever plays on tv nowadays, the popular culture that passes in a season. Writing is inherently conservative and traditional, speech evanescent.
> The past manifests itself in ways for which we usually need no > overt reminder.
I disagree there too; forgotten mistakes are repeated, but forgotten wisdom is lost. Knowing nothing of the past, having no roots, people believe that these are the best of times and that no better way of life is thinkable. More and more, I am amazed how fast language changes, and how slowly we learn.