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On 07/11/2011 08:42, MorphemeAddict wrote:
> On Mon, Nov 7, 2011 at 3:06 AM, R A Brown wrote:
>
>> On 06/11/2011 22:44, MorphemeAddict wrote:
>>
>>> I think the only way for spelling reform to happen
>>> in English is for informed people to just start
>>> spelling the way they want.
>>>
>>
>> Who, pray, decides which persons are _informed_ and
>> which aren't?  Are the writers of urban graffiti ("I
>> woz yer") informed? Or is it just those who have met
>> some test of literacy or what?
>>
> The informed people are those who care enough to spell in
> more consistent ways than they are taught.

I guess, then, I am just a little informed. I generally
spell words I was taught to spell ending in -our with just
plan -or.  I was taught to spell 'though' but no spell 'tho'
to conform with 'so' and 'go'.

For a time I habitually wrote final -iv instead of -ive;
clearly I must resume that informed practice.  Indeed, I hav
a lot of work t' du t' get more informd    ;)

> Others will spell as they want to, also, but they will
> not be informed.

How kan wun tel dhat they ar not informd?  Dhis IMO iz a
non-ansr.

===================================================

On 07/11/2011 17:06, Roger Mills wrote:
> Ray Brown wrote:
{snip]
>>
>> We got where we are today because people simply found
>> the free for all early Modern English orthographIES
>> too confusing and hankered after greater
>> standardization.
>>
> ---------------------------------------------------
>
> Thank you. My thoughts exactly.
>
> In the olden days, every writer seems to have had his own
> spelling system, and every printer simply followed
> whatever the writer delivered to him. It seems the idea
> of proof-reading was alien to them.

Yep - an old Will Shak(e)spe(a)r(e) was one those uninformed
guys, as his spelling was certainly not consistent.  He
wasn't even consistent about his own name    :)

> When did the trend toward standardization start, and
> who/where? I guess it would be the major
> printers/publishers??? Oxford/Cambridge Univ.Presses,
> certainly among others?

The printers certainly didn't like the chaos.  But neither
did literate people as books became more widely available.
There was a distinct trend during the 17th century towards a
more uniform orthography.

> Things seems to have settled down by at least the
> mid-19th C. Maybe a little earlier, but one still
> encounters oddities in 18th C work.

Earlier - Dr Samuel Johnson is sometimes credited with
fixing English spelling in his famous dictionary of 1755.
But the truth is that spelling had already become fairly
fixed by learned usage; all Johnson's dictionary does (and
it was a very comprehensive and important work) gather
together in one place what had become generally accepted
standards.

Since then there have been a few changes, e.g. final -ick in
polysyllabic words has universally given way to -ic. There
are still variants even now, e.g. -ise, -ize (_not_ British
versus American; while Americans all, I think, use -ize,
both spellings were common in Britain when I was a kiddie 50
years ago.  Some, like the Oxford & Cambridge University
presses and me, still stick with the older -ize spelling.
But over the past half century the Frenchified -ise spelling
has unquestionably become far more widespread over here.)

But to return to the digression.  As far as I can see,
MorphemeAddict's proposal is a few centuries out of date.
People did once spell they way they wanted and gradually an
agreed consensus emerged. As I've stated before, IMO the
only way forward that I think has any chance is a
regularization of that consensus.

-- 
Ray
==================================
http://www.carolandray.plus.com
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Nid rhy hen neb i ddysgu.
There's none too old to learn.
[WELSH PROVERB]