Spelling ability

Discuss Marilyn's column in PARADE magazine.

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Postby JO 753 » Tue Mar 13, 2012 7:36 pm

I see that we were writing at the same time before and I missed your post.

robert 46 wrote:I tend to agree that spelling can be streamilined in small ways progressively.


If you are as smart as you claim to be, you will have no trouble reading http://www.nooalf.com/sLoKTaNK.html The Feared & Reviled Schlock Tank Analogy!

Basicly, it explains why piecemeal reform can't work.

The fact is that he doesn't see a problem.


Most people have the same perception you do - that some steamlining would help - some of the 'ough' words usually get mentioned. So they do see some problem, but haven't really thought about it.

Suppose English was even worse. What if it took 15 years to become literate instead of only 3? What if the failiure rate was 85% instead of only17? What if there were an average of 10 excess letters per word instead of only a few?

Sounds rediculous, duznt it? Thats how regular spelling looks to me! Exaggeration is the microscope of logic.

Gravity keeps our feet on the ground, and we live well enough without wings.


What a pleasant idea! All we have to do is drop some antiquated mental conventions and then we'd be free to fly! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAg9C0OQr8c&list=FLo-NQ3_FjzEIJbwLGUJdrZQ&index=1&feature=plpp_video

Look at English orthography:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_orthography
...to see how daunting the task really is.


Anything can become difficult if you start off with a bad idea. The standard linguistic perspective of classifying phonemes by the positions and actions of the human speech apparati is flawed, counterproductive, and inferior.

I see you didn't bother to read http://www.nooalf.com/LoJIK.html page.

Find some unclaimed land on the planet, set up your own country where Nooalf is the official language


Or I can wait right here.

If the GoPs get the White House back and more of the house & senate later this year, they will let the country roll back into the ditch Obama has been single handedly pulling it out of and I will be able to start at least a little feifdom in my area as the world devolves into a Mad Max style wasteland. Then, if lojik has any practical overall advantage over stupidity and brute force, I will be able to expand to world domination in a few short decades.
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Postby robert 46 » Wed Mar 14, 2012 1:05 pm

I don't read Nooalf pages for the same reason I don't read Klingon, or Hedgerow Language [1]- there is no practical utility in it.

[1] Watership Down rabbit talk. The hares I had as semi-wild pets did not require conversation.
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Postby JO 753 » Wed Mar 14, 2012 9:40 pm

You have no case then.
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Postby robert 46 » Thu Mar 15, 2012 9:16 am

JO 753 wrote:You have no case then.

You choose to depreciate what I have to say, and can patiently wait while the glacier creeps forward and melts backward. Others ultimately determine what kind of spelling reform, if any, is acceptable.

Would you change "exaggeration" to "eksaggerashun" and then if there is continuing pronuciation drift to "eggzaggerashun"? Which sets the standard: dictionary spelling or fickle pronunciation fads by ignorant masses?
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Postby JO 753 » Thu Mar 15, 2012 4:03 pm

I'm not depreciating what you say, you are confessing willful ignorance.

My response to your question about the progress of the Nooalf Revolution was 'glacially'. You have been mischaracterizing that to mean that I want it to be a glacier, then extrapolating that to say that melting is bad.

I'm no longer sure that you understand what I meant.

By 'glacially', I meant very slow. But if you want to stay with the analogy, the Revolution is water, so melting is great; it will flow thousands of times faster to where it is needed.

Fickle pronunciation fads can set the standard. Lexicographers will deny vehemently that they are prescribing any standard. It is the most important part of their credo to describe the language wherever it drifts. Deciding what's going to stick and what isn't going to be around for the next edition must be a nightmare.

My opinion is a little different.

Whenever Joe Sixpak and Steve Hardhat get into a heated argument about pronunciation or usage, the nearest dictionary becomes the final word. Unless they continue the fight to a better dictionary, it is the ultimate authority. So I believe the writers have the greater responsibility to keep some level of order.

They in fact have always been doing this, even if they would deny it. They do not conduct a polling program to discover what the majority is doing with each word, but by what they consider to be the usage that well educated people who actually know the words in question would agree with. Most words, therefore, rarely require an update. For example, unless some pop singer puts 'quintessential' in a song just to rhyme with 'five seashell' and causes a popular redefinition and modified pronunciation, the dictionary entry will be the same as it was 100 years ago. But just ask your "ignorant masses" what 'quintessential' means now. The average ignorant mass will likely be able to understand it's meaning in a sentence they read, but will not be able to put a clear & correct definition together.

If I were to write a Nooalf Dictionary, I would include a strategy of clarification and differentiation. No hard and fast rules, just a general influence to move things to a more orderly, efficient state whenever an opportunity arises.

Your attempt at 'exaggeration' illustrates one of the limitations of a collection based orthography. It's eGZaJURAsN in Nooalf. But if you want to spell it eKSaJURAsUN, there's no rule against that since it spells an intelligeable, unmistakable pronunciation of the word.
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Postby robert 46 » Sat Mar 17, 2012 9:41 am

JO 753 wrote:I'm not depreciating what you say, you are confessing willful ignorance.

Your "LoJIK" page, which ostensibly explains Nooalf, is written in Nooalf, not English, which seems rather counterproductive. What stands out most is that by using capital letters to extend your phonetic alphabet, you have precluded capitalization of proper names. Why not extend the phonetic alphabet with Greek letters which have both lower- and upper-case? One good reason is that they aren't on the Qwerty keyboard. Three rows of alphabetic characters are all a keyboard and typist can handle, so you would have a big problem with an alphabet of more than 26 letters without using an additional shift key; but typing capitals by pressing a shift key and then typing another character is slower than typing all lowercase. Digraphs serve the purpose of additional letters for phonemes, are fast to type, and serve English quite well-enough.
By 'glacially', I meant very slow. But if you want to stay with the analogy, the Revolution is water, so melting is great; it will flow thousands of times faster to where it is needed.

In your dreams. You are losing more people to melting than a few supporters you may be gaining from snowfall.
Fickle pronunciation fads can set the standard. Lexicographers will deny vehemently that they are prescribing any standard. It is the most important part of their credo to describe the language wherever it drifts. Deciding what's going to stick and what isn't going to be around for the next edition must be a nightmare.

Which is why everything tends to stay around from edition to edition.
Whenever Joe Sixpak and Steve Hardhat get into a heated argument about pronunciation or usage, the nearest dictionary becomes the final word. Unless they continue the fight to a better dictionary, it is the ultimate authority. So I believe the writers have the greater responsibility to keep some level of order.

They in fact have always been doing this, even if they would deny it. They do not conduct a polling program to discover what the majority is doing with each word, but by what they consider to be the usage that well educated people who actually know the words in question would agree with. Most words, therefore, rarely require an update.

I agree: pandering to fad would be basically ridiculous.
Your attempt at 'exaggeration' illustrates one of the limitations of a collection based orthography. It's eGZaJURAsN in Nooalf. But if you want to spell it eKSaJURAsUN, there's no rule against that since it spells an intelligeable, unmistakable pronunciation of the word.

"Ex-" is a well-established prefix. Losing standard prefixes and suffixes is a really bad idea.

Along with "to/too/two", how would your system handle "sight/site", "see/sea", "hear/here", "leak/leek", etc., which to me pronounce identically and so have the same phonemes? A purely phonetic system cannot handle these distinctions which are required for clarity in writing.
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Postby JO 753 » Sat Mar 17, 2012 5:29 pm

robert 46 wrote:Your "LoJIK" page, which ostensibly explains Nooalf, is written in Nooalf, not English, which seems rather counterproductive.


It's to prove that you can read it.

What stands out most is that by using capital letters to extend your phonetic alphabet, you have precluded capitalization of proper names.


But you didn't try.

As explained on the page, capitalization is not very important to conveying meaning. It is occasionally expedient for clarification, but certainly not worth doubling the number of letters. How often do you capitalize when you speak?

Eliminating the convention also enables typing of Nooalf on today's keyboards without much hassle.

Food is ready. More later.
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Postby JO 753 » Sat Mar 17, 2012 8:42 pm

robert 46 wrote:...typing capitals by pressing a shift key and then typing another character is slower than typing all lowercase. Digraphs serve the purpose of additional letters for phonemes, are fast to type, and serve English quite well-enough.


When Nooalf becomes more popular, manufacturers can make keyboards for it, if keyboards are still around.

If you want to type Nooalf faster, you can use slakrz nqalf. Its less phonetic though, because 8 letters are either of 2 sounds.

Digraphs are inefficient and confusing in some cases. I was in my 20's when I discovered I had been misreading 'misshapen' as 'miss hapen'!

They are also bad logic. SH for example, requires 3 rules: 1. S immediatly followed by H does not make the S sound. 2. H immediatly preceded by S does not make the H sound. 3. SH makes the s sound. (bold = Nooalf letter/sound)

And as usual, there are exceptions to these rules!

The only reason you think they serve well enough is because they are all you have ever used. What would you think if some other language had no letter for B and used NK instead?

"Ex-" is a well-established prefix. Losing standard prefixes and suffixes is a really bad idea.


Not a good example of your point. Lots of ex words in which ex is not a prefix.

Along with "to/too/two", how would your system handle "sight/site", "see/sea", "hear/here", "leak/leek", etc., which to me pronounce identically and so have the same phonemes? A purely phonetic system cannot handle these distinctions which are required for clarity in writing.


We already went over this one.
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Postby robert 46 » Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:58 am

JO 753 wrote:
robert 46 wrote:...typing capitals by pressing a shift key and then typing another character is slower than typing all lowercase. Digraphs serve the purpose of additional letters for phonemes, are fast to type, and serve English quite well-enough.

When Nooalf becomes more popular, manufacturers can make keyboards for it, if keyboards are still around.

"If..."
If you want to type Nooalf faster, you can use slakrz nqalf. Its less phonetic though, because 8 letters are either of 2 sounds.

So much for phonetic spelling.
Digraphs are inefficient and confusing in some cases. I was in my 20's when I discovered I had been misreading 'misshapen' as 'miss hapen'!

I gather that Miss Hapen was not your English teacher.
They are also bad logic. SH for example, requires 3 rules: 1. S immediatly followed by H does not make the S sound. 2. H immediatly preceded by S does not make the H sound. 3. SH makes the s sound. (bold = Nooalf letter/sound)

"Sh" works well enough in "shush", and many other words.
And as usual, there are exceptions to these rules!

"Variety is the spice of life."

The only reason you think they serve well enough is because they are all you have ever used. What would you think if some other language had no letter for B and used NK instead?

Sounds like "nkunk" to me.
"Ex-" is a well-established prefix. Losing standard prefixes and suffixes is a really bad idea.

Not a good example of your point. Lots of ex words in which ex is not a prefix.

exaggerate: ex- + aggerate
1: to enlarge beyond bounds or the truth : overstate
2: to enlarge or increase especially beyond the normal : overemphasize
3: to make an overstatement

ex-: A prefix meaning “out of,” “from,” and hence “utterly,” “thoroughly”

aggerate: To heap up.

agger: 1. Also called double tide. Oceanography .
a. a high tide in which the water rises to a certain level, recedes, then rises again.
b. a low tide in which the water recedes to a certain level, rises slightly, then recedes again.
2. (in ancient Roman building) an earthen mound or rampart, especially one having no revetment.

Nooalf:
eKSaJURAsUN: see "eGZaJURAsN"
eGZaJURAsN: see "exaggeration" in any reputable dictionary.
Along with "to/too/two", how would your system handle "sight/site", "see/sea", "hear/here", "leak/leek", etc., which to me pronounce identically and so have the same phonemes? A purely phonetic system cannot handle these distinctions which are required for clarity in writing.

We already went over this one.
[1]
Do you mean to say that one of the words can be dispensed with and bundled up with the meaning of the other word? Doesn't this contradict your position that "A different definition is a different word" and promoting the creation of new words to off-load meanings?
_____
[1]
Nooalf website wrote:PULL ! What about homophones? Many words of different meaning are pronounced the same, therefore indicating their unique meaning is completely dependent on a unique spelling. Without this consistent link between spelling & meaning we would have complete chaos.

Got plenty uv ammo ! Lets turn this wun to dust!

BOOM ! Open a dictionary to any paje. You will see that many uv the wordz hav multiple definitionz. This iz exactly the same az having different wordz with the same spelling and pronunciation.

BOOM ! This impliez that its not possible to determine the meaning of wordz thru their context in a sentence. We do this all the time in normal conversation AND wen reading. Not only are there bunchez uv concepts that share the same spelling and pronounciation, but even more confusing, spelled the same yet pronounced differently! Any argument that is based on the idea that grafikly recording speech cant work failz to take the intelligence & language skills uv ordinary people into account.

It is exactly the failure of those language skills and intelligence which your system apparently is intended to address.

"The l**ks are in the kitchen." ("Leaks" or "leeks"?) Meaning depends on whether one is talking to the cook or a plumber; and can still be indeterminate.
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Postby JO 753 » Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:48 pm

You are down to unfavorable comments now.

about your question,

Do you mean to say that one of the words can be dispensed with and bundled up with the meaning of the other word? Doesn't this contradict your position that "A different definition is a different word" and promoting the creation of new words to off-load meanings?


No. I mean that trying to base spelling on sound and also definition is a bad idea and unnecessary.

The lexicon is a mess. There's no denying it, but most of the chaos is not a problem most of the time. The notion that this chaos requires the orthography to be a mess is false.
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Postby robert 46 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 12:34 pm

JO 753 wrote:
robert 46 wrote:Do you mean to say that one of the words can be dispensed with and bundled up with the meaning of the other word? Doesn't this contradict your position that "A different definition is a different word" and promoting the creation of new words to off-load meanings?

No. I mean that trying to base spelling on sound and also definition is a bad idea and unnecessary.

Then you must think overloading words with definitions is a good idea. One sound-sequence is a word, and all identical sound-sequences are the same word: "One/won", "whether/weather", "their/there", "night/knight", "whole/hole", "son/sun", etc.

Do you have the faintest comprehension of how disruptive your phonetic spelling proposal actually would be???

How can you go through schooling without knowing that "mis-" is a common prefix, "shape" is a noun/root, "-en" is a common suffix? "Mis-shape-(e)n". Was this too difficult to recognize? It should be apparent to everyone who follows and thinks about this situation that you are the one with the deficient "language skills", and are projecting your difficulties onto the English language; as if to say, "The problem cannot be with me, so it must be with the English language."
The lexicon is a mess. There's no denying it, but most of the chaos is not a problem most of the time. The notion that this chaos requires the orthography to be a mess is false.

What you propose is a much greater mess than what the English language has been getting by with for millions of people.
Last edited by robert 46 on Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby JO 753 » Tue Mar 20, 2012 8:23 pm

You are riding a dead horse. For every same sound/different spelling & definition example you can find, there are probably dozens of same sound & spelling/different definition examples.

Open.

A.

Dictionary!

Gorramit!


Do you have the faintest comprehension of how disruptive your phonetic spelling proposal actually would be???


No. I have the clearest comprehension.

You have this foggy notion that people who learn to spell Nooalf will not be able to comprehend sentences due to the occasional homophone.

This fog is dependent on ignoring all the acknowledged homonyms and the much greater number of multiple definition words which are really homonyms.

How can you go through schooling without knowing that "mis-" is a common prefix...?


I didn't.

A big part of learning how to read & write English is ignoring barnacle letters, inconsistencies and contradictions.

Certainly you have met well educated people who misused andor mispronounced particular words before.

I heard one on TV today, either on CNN or MSNBC - 'inprofessional' or 'inproductive' - from someone who should know the accepted prefix.

Someone I knew read 'nowhere' as 'now here', even though he used 'nowhere' in conversation normally.

Another guy had 'obliverate' in his vocabulary. A sensible word that anybody would understand to mean 'destroy completely' or 'to cause something to have never existed' that just happens to not be in the lexicon. (Maybe somebody obliverated it?!!!!)

Can you blame anybody for having little foibles in there vocabulary?

Don't forget we are dumping this mess on children - the biggest pile of words in history - when they are also very busy learning math, history & science in school, who knows what at home, TV and their friends, and are really only interested in having fun while they grow up.
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Postby hogshead » Wed Mar 21, 2012 9:57 am

I don't think you'll ever get much traction with a phonetic spelling system because it just isn't important to most readers. To most readers words are just symbols and it doesn't really matter how they are spelled. As such they can tell when a word is misspelled simply because it "just doesn't look right". When a "symbol" reader sees a word, for instance "sleep", he doesn't see s-l-e-e-p, and then translate that to the concept "sleep", it goes directly to his brain as "sleep". I would presume it would be somewhat like a Chinese reader looking at this 觉.
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Postby robert 46 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:19 pm

JO 753 wrote:
robert 46 wrote:Do you have the faintest comprehension of how disruptive your phonetic spelling proposal actually would be???

No. I have the clearest comprehension.

Not surprising: that is what tunnel-vision is all about.
You have this foggy notion that people who learn to spell Nooalf will not be able to comprehend sentences due to the occasional homophone.

No, I have the clear understanding that having multiple (dialect) spellings for one word would increase the dictionary to about 50,000 pages; and overloading meanings on a word would require considering a wider range of surrounding text to determine the meaning in context.

How can you go through schooling without knowing that "mis-" is a common prefix...?

I didn't.

A big part of learning how to read & write English is ignoring barnacle letters, inconsistencies and contradictions.

A big part of learning English is taking all that in stride.
Can you blame anybody for having little foibles in there vocabulary?

No, I'll blame anyone who wants to change the alphabet and the way words are traditionally spelled.
Don't forget we are dumping this mess on children - the biggest pile of words in history - when they are also very busy learning math, history & science in school, who knows what at home, TV and their friends, and are really only interested in having fun while they grow up.

Learning the common language is of paramount importance. I am inclined to blame the dismal state of U.S. education on the Teachers Union promoting higher salaries and lower teacher qualifications, and Liberal socialism for treating the school system as "We don't actually have to teach children anything important, but have them leave feeling good about themselves."

*****
hogshead wrote:When a "symbol" reader sees a word, for instance "sleep", he doesn't see s-l-e-e-p, and then translate that to the concept "sleep", it goes directly to his brain as "sleep". I would presume it would be somewhat like a Chinese reader looking at this 觉.

Very good. The written word goes directly to meaning without a side excursion to the how-is-the-spelling-pronounced region of the brain.
Last edited by robert 46 on Thu Mar 22, 2012 9:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby JO 753 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:30 pm

You're going to have to face the fact that your objection to Nooalf is not based on anything of substance. All you have is inertia and sentiment, Robert.

Hogshead, that's pretty cool that you know how to put Chinese in here! Do you know Chinese?

About your point - some years ago there was a study that disproved that. I can't recall any details, but I have the notion that syllables and number of letters had something to do with it.

Also, the mixed up letter thing seems to contradict it. Ulnses yuo lraened to raed by hte wlohe wrod mteohd, oyu nca edra hsit ryev slaeyi.
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