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On Mon, 25 Oct 2004, rkupsala wrote (excerpt):

> >BEST ENGLISH SPELLING REFORM
>
> Anyone that brings English spelling nearer to the standards of Roman alphabet.
> In my opinion the vowels a, e, i, o, u should have the continental sound
> values found in IPA, Spanish, German, Polish etc. with some small variations.

    As has been often noted, one of the real problems for reformed
English spelling, is *whose* English?  English is spoken quite
differently around the world, although educated native speakers of the
various dialects usually have little trouble understanding one another
if they make an effort to avoid local slang and idiom.  On the other
hand, with only minor and obvious (to native speakers) exceptions,
educated English is *written* the same way all around the world,
despite the atrocious fit between orthography and pronunciation.  If
several spelling reforms are attempted to accommodate some of the
major dialectal groups, then before long the ability to communicate in
writing diminishes.  Sort of like the matter of Chinese orthography and
the various Chinese languages.  Regrettably, I do not see any easy way
out of the difficulty, despite the fact that the use of English has
spread.  Some might even say that English is the most successful
international auxiliary language in history (to date -- that could
change, of course).

--
Paul Bartlett
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