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On Thursday 30 January 2003 01:50 pm, Sarah Marie Parker-Allen wrote:
> What IS the social cost of three-year-olds not knowing how to read?

        None, really. I've heard the arguments and I just don't buy them. The plain
and simple fact is that English dialects have diverged on such a wide scale
that it would be impossible to invent a phonetic system to cover all of them.
Why do you think we have monthly "I pronounce word X this way" threads?
        Want to cut the illiteracy rate? Boost educational funds and train parents
how to parent better. A parent taking the time to read to a child on a
regular and consistant basis is one of the best ways to promote literacy, and
it promotes family bonding. Win-win, and a lot better for society in the long
run then trying to change spelling.
        No offense to the supporters of English spelling reform, but it's a lot like
auxlanging in my mind; interesting in theory, but annoying, futile, and
pointless in real life. I have no problem with toying with different schemes
(much like the ideal auxlang discussion, rather than the usual flame-fest),
but hypothetical simulations are as far as these proposals are ever going to
get.
        :Peter