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Upper & lower case (was: Speedwords hare etc

From:Raymond Brown <ray.brown@...>
Date:Tuesday, May 29, 2001, 17:31
At 4:06 pm -0400 28/5/01, Andreas Johansson wrote:
>The Gray Wizard wrote
>> >>I don't know. Given the other complexities of German nouns (gender, case, >>number), I can't imagine that capitalization rules score very high in terms >>of learning difficulties. I can't remember any significant class time >>being >>spent on it when I studied German as an undergrad. > >But you're not a native speaker, are you? To a native speaker (given that >his/her dialect isn't divergent from High German), the cases and genders >come pretty naturally. Same with the somewhat impredictable plurals. The >noun capitalization rules, on the other hand, have no real counterpart in >spoken language, and thus have to be learnt actively by even native >speakers.
>PS Obviously, the difference between higher and lower case is strictly a >feature of written language. If ease of learning were our sole motive, we'd >be busy reforming capital letters out of existence.
quite - as long ago as 1931 jespersen was saying much the same thing: "In an international language we might, perhaps we should, write everything with small letters, as the rules for capitals are more or less arbitrary in all languages - at present, however, I dare not propose that reform." [novial lexike] surely, the reform is long overdue - and not only in international languages. ray. ========================================= A mind which thinks at its own expense will always interfere with language. [J.G. Hamann 1760] =========================================


Nik Taylor <fortytwo@...>
Muke Tever <alrivera@...>