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(Some Guy)   102 year old challenges the English language in a creative manner   ( divider line
    More: Misc, English language  
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3657 clicks; posted to Video » on 07 Oct 2012 at 6:30 PM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2012-10-09 06:55:20 AM  
1 vote:
And now I have to apologize for my grammatical error in the first sentence. I changed how I was phrasing it halfway and didn't go back that far to proof.

And now it is harder to understand, it is not?

/Need coffee.
2012-10-09 03:03:14 AM  
1 vote:
One can find printed texts from the 17th and 18th centuries in which a word is spelled two or three different ways on the same page. Pronunciation shifts have historically led to spelling changes, but orthography has become a business, and there is no governing body for the English language, so it is unlikely to change much now. Text messaging may actually lead to some shifts in spelling, although I doubt it, because for some reason people who work for the OED, no matter how socially progressive, tend to be linguistically/orthographically conservative.

I don't understand why it is important that we all agree on the spelling of words. It reduces the influence of regional accents and dialects on the language, which makes written language increasingly dull. And it actually convinces intelligent people who correctly apply phonetic tactics to spelling that they are stupid. This is why when I teach children spelling I make it very clear that it's about convention, not about right and wrong. I say lots of things like "it's usually spelled this way."

Pet peeve is people who are obsessive or picky about the spelling of their name. Shakespeare's name was spelled many different ways, including in his own hand, I believe. If it was good enough for one of the greatest masters of the English language, it's good enough for someone who reads at a 7th grade level. I have a cousin named Lynn and I regularly spell her name "Lin." I said that I will spell it differently when she pronounces it like an upsilon.
2012-10-07 02:49:52 PM  
1 vote:
English is a particularly hard language to learn, because of its own internal idiosyncrasies in spelling. It has these, because, despite being at heart a Germanic language, has strapped on Latinate influences, adopted odd rashings of Welsh, Gaelic and the native languages of the British Isles, and as a trade tongue, it is amazingly flexible in absorbing words. Its spelling conventions are often chaotic and even capricious, because of so many languages being distilled into one. English is amazing in its ability to just absorb words and even whole phrasings into itself, and when it does so, it usually brings in the original spelling conventions that went with it. What's fun, is when it absorbs words from languages that don't share its alphabet, and imposes its own conventions upon those foreign words.
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