[Development] OT: English phonetic spelling (was: QList)

Konrad Rosenbaum konrad at silmor.de
Mon Mar 27 18:44:16 CEST 2017

[quite OT, but I'll pile on... - just for fun]

On Mon, March 27, 2017 17:43, Matthew Woehlke wrote:
> Iä, thät güst lûks wråŋ. Yf wi wÿr tu ëvÿr du süch thyŋz, ai
wûd müch

Let me propose the more "Jusfull" "Jäh" - which is somewhat easier to read.

> räthÿr swytch holsel tu ü kümplitli fünëtyk spëlyŋ üf
ëvrithyŋ. Ai häpyn
> tu lüik thys systûm wych ai ëm dëmünstretyŋ hir ;-).

Are you using Gaelic pronunciation on "lüik"? The only way my tongue seems
able to pronounce this is with an almost silent "i".

> On 2017-03-27 03:43, Marc Mutz wrote:
>> Been there, done that. Delphin is now spelled Delfin in German. For -
>> what -
>> 20 years now? It still looks wrong. Oh, and the public outcry back then.
>> And
>> the economic damage caused by having to re-proofread, re-edit and
>> re-print a
>> ton of Flipper books...
> ...and, correct me if I'm wrong, but German is generally spelled how it
> is pronounced, yes?

Yes, German is almost completely phonetic - except for very few loan words
that have not completely assimilated yet. But there are efforts under way
to send them on an integration and language course, now that they've
gained asylum and are proven to be mostly harmless.

The perceived "problem" they tried to solve with the reform was that
several phonemes have more than one possible spelling (e.g. "f" and "ph"
as demonstrated above) and there were some minor exceptions to grammatical
rules (e.g. conversion between "ss" and "ß" is not entirely logical all
the time).

...while all of this supposedly made things easier for young students,
it's hell for scientifically minded adults - it's called "Telefon" now,
but the "f" in there is still a quite foreign "Phonem" (both derived from
the greek word for sound), while the aficionado of ancient greek in the
other room insists that "this is not how you spell greek words! It's the
wrong alphabet(*)." :-(

(*) or is this Alfabet now - I can never remember this one

In short: even completely phonetic languages with reforms that make the
language even more logical and phonetic provide ample opportunity to screw
up the spelling of several generations while also providing for futile,
but heated, discussions and some bloody noses.

Please keep English weird! That makes it likeable.


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