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OK, now don't get offended.  This is my devil's
advocate position.  I'm looking for some refutations
of my expressed opinion.

Granted, pronunciation can be interesting, but I'll
never understand the seeming obsession with trivial
nuances that seems to grip some linguists.
Pronunciation is nearly irrelevant when it comes to
fulfilling the primary purpose of language;
communication.

Two people walk into a restaurant.  One orders "frahd
chikin pleez" and the other orders "vroit jigun pliss"
and the both get the same meal delivered to their
table.  The power of language lies in the fact that
nuances of mouth noises are utterly irrelevant, so why
are so many people seemingly obsessed with something
so irrelevant?  You say "I am going to the government
meeting", pronouncing each letter clearly and
distinctly and I say "I'm gonta da gummit meedn" and
everybody understands us both.  It seems rather like
obsessing over whether the speaker has blue eyes or
brown eyes.  It's not relevant to the primary purpose
of language.

Thus all systems of phonetic writing are so much
wasted labor good only for documenting _today's_
pronunciation of a particular ethic group residing in
an area of 6 city blocks.  Day after tomorrow, or in a
different 6-block area, those distinctions are
obsolete or meaningless.

That's my devil's advocate position.  Anyone care to
defend the reason for studying mouth noises? :)

<< Puts on fire proof suit :) >>

--gary