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On 2014-12-19 6:45 AM, Risto Kupsala wrote:
> Logan Streondj wrote 2014-12-18 12:55:
>> It is clear to me why we stick to the old spelling,
>> since it is so hard to agree on someone elses pronunciation.
>
> The real reason is that nobody is in charge of the English spelling.
> That's why new spellings pop up from social media, etc.
>
> Minor improvements would be possible without touching dialect
> differences between the major dialects (RP and US).
>
> [trim]
>
> A teen and an adult can learn the principles of phonetic spelling in a
> day and get used to it in a few weeks. A simple converter software could
> transcribe the entire content of the internet to the new spelling "in no
> taym".

Yes, intelligent adolescents and adults who are already literate native 
anglophones could learn the proposals quickly, although I myself am not 
sure that they could "get used to it in a few weeks," especially for 
mature adults who have spent, say, fifty or sixty years with the old 
spelling. (For example, I learned to read early and easily, so I do not 
sound out words as I read but more or less recognize them as wholes. 
With the proposals made, I would have to go back to sounding out words 
for a long time.) Also, I think that given English spelling as it is, it 
might take more than "simple converter software," although I will leave 
that up to the computer specialists to deal with.

Finally, what about all the old documents that would not be converted? 
Yes, English spelling has changed somewhat over the centuries (and some 
words have shifted meanings), but it has been stable enough that 
literate native speakers can still read documents four hundred years old 
with some accuracy. A new orthography could impede that practice except 
for specialists. Indeed, I have read -- I will stand corrected if I am 
wrong -- that a contributing factor in Ataturk's imposition of the Latin 
alphabet on Turkey was a deliberate attempt to cause a break with the 
country's past in his desire to secularize the society. Of course, 
spelling reform proposals for English have historically not been 
attempts to cause major social changes, but they could cause something 
of a break with the past.

-- 
Paul Bartlett