Re: New phonemic writing system and IPA usage

From: Gregg Reynolds (
Date: Sun Aug 22 1999 - 20:50:36 EDT

JoAnne Marie wrote:

> I am NOT proposing a new LANGUAGE - just a faster, more consistent way to
> represent it!

Written language does not "represent" non-written language. It is a different
beast. Like painting, dance, music, and other arts, written language allows us
to express things we cannot express in spoken language. To reduce written
language to the mere transcription of phonetic traces would be an act of the
utmost barbarism.

And why is faster better, anyway? I prefer to read slowly and carefully.
Things worth reading, that is.

And why is inconsistency so terrible? Asymmetry is fundamental to many great
arts. I love the idiosyncracies of the language I have received from those who
went before me: a small part of the world that is, if not completely
impervious, at least strongly resistant to the attacks of The Mouse, Ronald
McDonald, Nike, Coca-Cola, Microsoft, IBM, Starbucks, Chairman Mao, Saddam, and
all the other Great Modern Benefactors of Mankind. All of whom would
absolutely love a monolanguage.

-gregg, writing in a kind of Sunday evening, let's cut loose kind of a mood,
imagining Unicode 100 years ago: a bunch of European statesmen with huge cigars
and cognac in a smoky back room, arguing over a map of the world. So don't
take it personally.

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