RE: English Spelling

From: Frank da Cruz (
Date: Fri Dec 10 1999 - 15:03:59 EST

Ken wrote...

> ... in the long historical sweep of things has only managed to add a
> few thousand *more* Chinese characters, with all the attendant complications
> of keeping track of which simplified one goes with which traditional one.
> The net-net is that they managed to make the Chinese orthography more
> complicated than it already was.
I think there is one case on record where reform pretty much replaced the
old with the new -- in Norway in the last century. I once had a book about
this... The upshot was that within a few decades of reform, Norwegian
immigrants to North America could no longer correspond with their relatives
back home. Or so the book said (how different could it have been?)...
I think it was called "The Norwegian Language in America"...

> It seems reasonable to
> predict that in the not-too-distant future, "nite", "lite", "rite", etc.
> will win out over the archaic "night", "light", "right", etc., although
> elementary school English teachers everywhere will fite this for another
> fifty years, no doubt.
This would be unfortunate since it would destroy the history and linkage of
words like "knight", which, as any German speaker knows, means "waiter"...

- Frank

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