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Jonathan Chang wrote:
>     Would be intriguing to imagine the divergence of English in such
> alternative histories... esp'ly if one nation-state [mayhaps the Confederate
> States of America] purposely instituted a lexical AND orthographic reform...
> perhaps in a nationalistic drive to "democratize" & combat both White & Black
> illiteracy.

The USA, maybe, the CSA, not a chance.  They were strongly opposed to
the government "interfering" in their business.  And the CSA would
certainly not do anything to combat Black illiteracy!  If anything,
they'd combat Black *literacy*!  (In fact, I seem to remember that it
was illegal to teach a black to read back then)

And any lexical reform would fail, but an orthographic reform, MIGHT
have a slim chance of succeeding.  Actually, for the South to have won
would probably have required English support, so perhaps close ties
between the CSA and the UK might result in Southerners adopting British
spellings like "colour"!  The USA might be antagonized enough to further
increase their orthographic distinctiveness, and possibly
(semi-conciously) lexical distinctiveness, avoiding words that they
associated with the "Rebs".

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