Of the 22 languages spoken by more than 50 million people
, only two have linguistic governing bodies? I'm not sure there's any evidence pointing towards that being the most beneficial, never mind practical, way of doing things. Especially since the Spanish Academy is comprised of 22 country specific sub-associations.
Actually, most language have such bodies. In fact, i think it's only ~two that DON'T; one obviously being English.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_la ... regulators
wiki says there are only three without a de facto, 4 de jure.
Dextrose wrote:I personally think that spelling reform is one of the most destructive things you can do to a language, because all the information about consonants and vowels and their mouth position in the way we pronounce words is destroyed. There are very, very few true irregularities in the English language. You could probably fill book with them, but when you talk about The English, that's still fucking tiny. ...
"around 50% of all English words have unpredictable spellings."
I don't completely agree with this article, but it shows it's undeniable that English spelling is mostly inconsistent.
The real issue English has about ten or so distinct vowel phones, (it depends on your accent) which is too many to represent without diacritical marks, which English-speakers have been very resistant to. There's also the issue that our association of certain vowel sounds with certain letters complicates this, especially as sometimes these systems overlap, so remapping vowel sounds is absurdly complicated. I think this is what makes spelling reform so tricky- finding a way to deal with the vowels.
I came up with an idea that did simplify things without
diacritics, but it resorted both to bastardised vowel-shifting through constructions like "oh", "ur", and "ay" (because those letters can only act on the vowel after them as a consonant) and a system of shifting pronounciations depending on whether a vowel was in the leading, middle, or trailing position of a word, and it still looked as different from English as diacritics-based systems. It also resulted in either apostrophes or dashes having to be used to seperate escape characters, and hilarious-looking things like "uhhuh" for uh-huh.
English vowels are horrible and are the biggest difference betwixt different accents, agreed. Perhaps if our spelling HAD a system to show phonemically what vowel is where, we might have less change, considering that consonants didn't change much and our consonants are pretty phonemically spelled.
However, I don't support phonemic re-spellings, I just want standardized spelling.
IcyBallerina wrote:This was after I had spent months absorbed in etymologies, learning how English has drawn from every culture to which it has been exposed. Every word has a story behind it. Etymologies can reflect the rises and falls of great nations, and show how English speakers have been affected by every culture with which they have interacted. The classic request for "language of origin" does not only give you the source of the word- You can practically find the history of the world in English's loanwords. The language isn't easy, sure. But it is rich. It bewilders me that anybody would sacrifice the depth of meaning, connotation, and history for the sake of saving grades on spelling tests.
Yes, but English has raped the origins of words, made random changes (an ekename -> a nickname; det -> debt), and of'en obscures origin. Also, the origin of words would not change if we respelled English, in fact words would have a RICHER history, since "The great spelling reform", in 100 yrs, would be an interesting part of the etymology of words to learn.http://www.xibalba.demon.co.uk/jbr/ortho.html#ten
these need to be fixed:
"spellings which are neither phonologically nor etymologically justifiable, as in <aCHe, agHast, aiSle, aLmond, ancHor, bUry, (musical) cHords, coLonel, couLd, crumB, deliGHt, dingHy, foreiGn, gHastly, gHerkin, gHost, hauGHty, iSland, lacHrymose, lisTen, postHumous, Ptarmigan, QUeue, redouBt, rHyme, rHumb, roWlocks, Scissor, sCythe, sovereiGn, spriGHtly, thumB, tongUE, Whole, Whore>. All the capitalised letters are spurious, and often they were deliberately added as "improvements" by incompetent etymologists."