Re: English Spelling

From: Edward Cherlin (
Date: Thu Dec 09 1999 - 01:39:56 EST

At 14:39 -0800 1999/12/08, Robert A. Rosenberg wrote:
>At 01:31 PM 12/08/1999 -0800, John Cowan wrote:
>>"Reynolds, Gregg" wrote:
>> > [I]t's actually highly rational, but it is
>> > designed for native speakers, not those who needed a phonemic
>>Most of it. But if a fairly small number of irregularities are repaired
>>(there is no reason why there should be nine different pronunciations of
>>"-ough"), it would be far more so.

Ray Kurzweil said that his first reading machine had more than 2,000
spelling rules and more than 2,000 individual exceptions (one, once,
two, *ough, who, you, bow, ...).

>I forget who perpetrated it but someone
           George Bernard Shaw

>(using different ways of spelling the required pronunciation) came
>up with GHOTI as the "correct" spelling of the word "FISH" (GH as in
>TOUGH, I as in ?,
               \\\\\\\\\one possible 'o' as in 'women', 'ti' as in 'nation'

> etc) in an essay on the odd spelling of English Words.

and left a bundle of money for the development of a more phonemic way
of writing English--resulting in Shavian.

>>Schlingt dreifach einen Kreis vom dies! || John Cowan
>>Schliesst euer Aug vor heiliger Schau, ||
>>Denn er genoss vom Honig-Tau, ||
>>Und trank die Milch vom Paradies. -- Coleridge (tr. Politzer)

Edward Cherlin
"A knot! Oh, do let me help undo it."
Alice in Wonderland

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