> [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Antonielly Garcia Rodrigues > > Zamenhof proposed the h-convention (h following the > behatted letter), but many Espists seem to prefer other > methods, such as the following-x-convention. It's always > seemed to me that at least with the h-convention, the > digraphs ch and sh come out right. > > They "come out right" with respect to what? > > > The downside is clearly gh, which happens to go against > the Italian usage, very confusingly for Italians. > > I thought Esperanto wasn't obliged to follow Italian language > conventions. Aren't Esperanto and Italian different languages? They are different but I agree that <gh> is counterintuitive to what's found in natural languages. This is one more reason why I like the X-system better. > I believe an Italian is supposed to know that a language he will learn > will not neatly map to the usage of the Italian language. This is at > least what happened to me when I was learning English, and I expect > that other language learners will have the same expectations (if they > are at least minimally informed about the nature of foreign > languages). I agree but why use something that's the complete opposite. I don't know of any language that uses <gh> this way. > By the way, I've never seen someone saying that "looking like Italian" > was a design goal for Esperanto. > > Despite this, I've always thought that if I was an Espist, > I would prefer the h-convention. > > If someday you learn Esperanto, nobody would forbid you of writing > with the convention you prefer, or even creating a new, cooler > convention. (Some conservative people might complain, but they will > not have the power to forbid you of writing the way that pleases you > the most. Fortunately, this freedom is not something exclusive to > Esperanto: you have the same freedom in Ido!) This is like those who mention using multiple scripts. Yes, you can do that, and nobody will stop you but if your intended audience only knows the standard way, you risk alienating some or maybe all of them. > > The x-convention has always appeared to me rather ugly > > The first time I saw it, it looked "ugly" for me too. But this is > completely subjective. I believe many people find this exotic(*) > spelling to be cute and cool; after all, it gives a unique flavor to > the language. And someone may find it ugly at first and change his > mind later ;) . One just need to keep his mind open for novelty. > > (*) exotic with respect to the spelling of some languages to which the > reader is familiar. That's a better why of putting it. I've never considered it ugly, just strange. I've used digraphs with X for romanizing some of my conlangs in the past. I'm accustomed to it enough now that I don't really think it looks all that strange. > > and like using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. You still > get digraphs, but they're completely unnatural cx, sx etc. > > "Unnatural" with respect to what? > > By the way, are there "natural" spellings? I'd call just about any good phonemic system "natural" so English spelling is somewhat unnatural. > Another question: suppose you discovered a language used in the middle > of Africa in which people used the digraphs "cx", "sx", etc. Would you > still make the same argument? > > > It just appears to me that what this says to the reader > is: "I wanted to use hats here, but couldn't, so just hold > your nose and pretend they're hats, perched neatly atop the > preceding letters". Rather than work out a proper workaround > for the problem that the hats are not universally available. > > > > Thoughts? > > I read your message and imagine someone criticizing the governments of > Brazil and Portugal the same way if he saw someone using "eh" and > "cafeh" in a chat room or in a SMS instead of "é" and "café". I thought there were some spelling differences between Brazil and Portugal like the difference between <é> and <ê>, true? In any case, I'll bet dropping the diacritics doesn't make the message much less intelligible.