Re: New phonemic writing system

From: JoAnne Marie (
Date: Mon Aug 23 1999 - 22:43:11 EDT

> >>>... there is a huge
> amount of _written_ information and >literate people, in
> English. 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
> would!
> (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 will only have access to
> recent documents; documents in the old orthography won't
> spontaneously transform themselves.

I see at least 2 ways of addressing this 'non-problem': a) that
'desireable' 'old' documents be (electronically) transcribed to CC; or b)
that those who wish to read (any!) literature 'in the original', learn to
read that form (whether it be in another language - 'living or dead', or in
another writing system)!

> ... an authoritarian government that was able to impose
> the reform on the entire language community.

I see CC as a purely 'elective' method -certainly not to be 'imposed' -
those who choose to use it gain a credit-card size keyboard (instead of the
'legacy montrosity' with which we are currently saddled) and a method for
very fast input - which until 'everyone' *can* read it , may be transcribed
(via software) to TEO (Trad. Eng. Orthog.). On the other hand, I believe
if we start with CC in very young children, we could see (let's be daring!)
up to 2 years 'advance' in literacy and a *FAR* lower rate of 'dyslexia'.

> 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.

While I appreciate the care that you have taken in addressing these various
(doubtless important) facets, what I was mainly seeking in writing to the
Unicode list was NOT whether you think CC 'will fly' and are prepared
('personally') to abandon everything you've ever learned to adopt this
revolutionary new system, BUT (since it will need to be coded in any event)
whether I am on the 'right track' for a 'Unicode-compatible' binary
attribution for the phonemes of CC - no-one has yet responded on this level.

> .... we should not for a
> moment fool ourselves into thinking that CC could possibly
> become the(/a) conventional way of writing English...

I am consistently baffled by your 'negativity', vehemence, and 'certainty'.
I see the Camion Code as 'a boon to humanity' (certainly for the young and
for generations to come) but one which in NO WAY 'precludes' the existing
system with all its history, etc. I imagine that 'only time will tell' if
anyone (or how many) ever do adopt this system which is intended to make
(electronic) writing simpler and more consistent than it is when using the
latin alphabet - 'where's the harm in that'?

JoAnne Marie,
CV, Phonetics and Poetry on:

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