>>>The reason English is interesting to learn is not any
fundamental property >of English, more that there is a huge
amount of _written_ information and >literate people, in
English. Changing English orthography would break >that.
> Changing English orthography would break >that.
> >(M.E.) regularizing it with minor corrections
> according to Wijk's very sensible scheme would not.
> (Peter) But making as drastic a change as to adopt CC
(JM) That's a matter of opinion!
JoAnne, how can you say that this is a matter of opinion? As
soon as a generation grows up learning to read and write
English using only CC, the majority Kwill only have access to
recent documents; documents in the old orthography won't
spontaneously transform themselves. Humanity has a *very, very,
very huge* investment in published and unpublished documents in
English using the existing orthograhy, and there is a
probability of 0.00 +/- 0% that we want to throw that away, or
that we want to limit access to that information to a minority
that chose to learn the old orthography in addition to the new
CC-based standard. I don't think even you can disagree with
that. And if we will want to continue to teach our children to
read the old orthography, why would we ever consider putting
ourselves through the trauma of replacing bad, old Roman
script-based English orthography with CC?
There is a recent case of a language community changing their
orthography from one script to an unrelated script: Turkish was
written in Arabic until the early part of this century, and
since then in Roman. This was possible because:
- the language community was pretty well limited to one nation,
- the literacy rate was not that high,
- the old script was not that well suited for representing the
phonology of the language,
- the new script was much better suited to represent the
phonology of the language,
- there was not a really large corpus of books existing that
used the old script, and
- there was an authoritarian government that was able to impose
the reform on the entire language community.
*None* of these are true of English.
I have now contributed comments that relate to semiotic issues,
to issues of the psychology and physiology of reading and
writing, and to sociolinguistic issues of attitude and usage. I
also threw in various comments on historical linguistic issues
along the way. So, there shouldn't be any doubt of my opinion
of introducing CC as a replacement for existing English
While some of us may want to pursue the idea of writing English
using CC as one of personal interest, we should not for a
moment fool ourselves into thinking that CC could possibly
become the conventional way of writing English, or even a
conventional way of writing English.
End of diatribe.
This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jul 10 2001 - 17:20:51 EDT