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Nik Taylor wrote:

> "Thomas R. Wier" wrote:
> > Why the arbitrary distinction? Wouldn't he say reading and writing are
> > both equally important, even in the age of spellcheckers?
>
> I don't think it's arbitrary.  Having multiple ways of indicating the
> same sound allows one to distinguish homophones, like /no/ as "no" and
> "know", or however Regularized Inglish does it.

Well, what I was saying is that saying reading takes precedence
over writing is an arbitrary one -- there's no theoretical reason
you should make a difference between the two.  It is true, as
John pointed out, that people read more often than they write,
but that doesn't mean they don't need to write -- *everyone*
needs to be able to do both (in our information society, usually
every day), hopefully with proficiency.  The need for writing in
the future will only increase, not decrease.

Besides, if you're going to distinguish homophones, why not be
consistent?  Why not distinguish the two very different meanings
of the word written <lie>?  That's the problem we're faced with:
the orthographic system we have now is a mess: it's inconsistent
even where it's trying to be consistent (as in, not adhering to
phonemic spelling all the time).  No one rule can help you understand
why English orthography is the way it is except complex historical
reasons, which often have little bearing on what the language and/or
our culture is like today.

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Tom Wier <[log in to unmask]>
ICQ#: 4315704   AIM: Deuterotom
Website: <http://www.angelfire.com/tx/eclectorium/>
"Cogito ergo sum, sed credo ergo ero."

Denn wo Begriffe fehlen,
Da stellt ein Wort zur rechten Zeit sich ein.
   -- Mephistopheles, in Goethe's _Faust_
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