CHAT spelling that looks good (was: Alteutonik (was: Intergermansk)
|From:||Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>|
|Date:||Saturday, January 29, 2005, 18:10|
On Saturday, January 29, 2005, at 03:29 , J. 'Mach' Wust wrote:
> On Fri, 28 Jan 2005 19:00:45 +0000, Ray Brown <ray.brown@...>
>> On Thursday, January 27, 2005, at 09:57 , Muke Tever wrote:
>>> which, after a while, owing perhaps to some of the difficulty of making
>>> reformed English spelling look any good,
>> It is difficult, isn't it?
> It's difficult because a spelling that looks good is usually a spelling
> you're used to. If you start to search for a new spelling that should look
> good, then you'll end up keeping the same spelling you had before.
That may well be true of some, but it ain't true of me! Indeed, my own
opinion is that so many would-be spelling reforms fail because they are
*too similar* to existing spelling. The result is that they give the
appearance of 'bad spelling'.
A spelling which looks like deformed current English spelling does not
'look good'. IMO for a reform to look good, it has to be _clearly
original_ not a patching up of the current chaotic spelling - in
otherwords, it should be substantially different and coherent within
>> Especially getting a system that does not do
>> violence either to words of Latin origin or to words of Saxon origin.
> You mean, not like e.g. the Italian spelling? :)
No - it is in fact possible, with care, to write a passage which is both
perfect Latin and also perfect Italian. Mario Pei gave an example in one
of his books - but sadly I do not seem to have a copy of the example.
When one gets used to assimilations like -ct- --> -tt-, -pt- --> -tt-, -x-
/ks/ --> -ss- and that the silent Latin _h_ (it became silent 2000 years
ago) is not written, it is IMO not difficult. Personally, I as a Latinist
find little problem reading Italian.
No - the pesky English vowels are problematic, as well as our treatment of
some of the endings like -tione(m). For example while our _nation_ /'nejSn=
/ is spelled more like the Latin _natione(m)_ than is Italian _nazione_ or
Spanish _nación_, its pronunciation differs far more than either Spanish
or Italian does. A spelling like _neishn_ or _naeshn_ does more violence
IMO than either the Italian or Spanish does.
FWIW one of my juvenile reforms wrote it _neasjn_ :)
Anything is possible in the fabulous Celtic twilight,
which is not so much a twilight of the gods
as of the reason." [JRRT, "English and Welsh" ]