Spoling Changes

Given that English often spells identical sounds in several ways, it is little wonder that English-speaking adults always come near the bottom in international studies on literacy, he says.

The ee-sound, for example can be spelt as in: seem, team, convene, sardine, protein, fiend, people, he, key, ski, debris and quay. Yet there are no rules for deciding when to use which, so why not just spell the ee-sound simply as “ee”? To ease the switch from current spelling to a more phonetic system, the Spelling Society advocates a period of transition in which traditional and new forms are used together.

One reason why we don\’t do this could be that team and teem, while pronounced the same way and, in this new method, spelt the same way, actually mean rather different things.

Yes, Inglish Spolling is difficult, weird even, but it does allow us to be precise in our meanings.

12 thoughts on “Spoling Changes”

  1. Agreed, Tim. This isn’t as simple as making it easier for people because it will introduce new complexities.

    BTW, have you seen that I’m now famous. Or perhaps that should be infamous.

    The media are swine.

  2. you may have noticed how unintelligent and unsuccessful people are the world over if they have Mandarin as a first language. Oh hang on-

  3. Christ! You can tell it’s the silly season.

    What these people always fail to mention is which English pronounciation is to be the basis for their new orthography. Or should American, Australian, Indian, Singaporean, Scots, Irish, Yorkshire, Cornish, Texan, South African etc etc ad nauseam English all be written in very different forms.

    It’s just another (fortunately rather harmless) example of bossy middle class people with too much time on their hands trying to force everyone else to conform to their way of behaviour.

    Tim adds: Excellent point. That is, of course, how Latin became Italian (it’s many variants), Spanish, French, Portuguese, Romanian etc.

  4. Three cheers for Phil – it’s a fact that big knives *are* cool, that swishing them about the place *is* fun, and Lyn Costello *is* a poisonous ratbag. It’s almost enough to make me vote Tory…

  5. And whilst we are on matters spelling, and being rather pendantish, @ Tom Bates Tim adds …..”(it’s many variants)” please remember the apostrophe is only used when it’s an abbreviation of “it is”.

  6. Tee hee, well done Phil T! I thought you’d get into hot water sooner or later, but hey, that was your call. You remember what happened to that Lib Dem councillor who said that cannabis should be legalised …

    Anyway, I dropped in at PT’s to say ‘well done’ but the content filter operating at the hotel at which we are currently holidaying won’t let me because of obscene content, apparently his ‘blog contains the phrase “genital mutilation”. So I can’t visit Jewish or Islamic websites either then, presumably …

  7. just think of the meanings of stock.. my dictionary lists 45 different ways to use that collection of 5 letters. However, depending on context, not many people would be confused about whether I was referring to a financial instrument, part of a gun, a necktie, an aromatic flower….

  8. Tom Bates:- “What these people always fail to mention is which English pronounciation is to be the basis…..”
    As a bossy middle-class person with too much time on my hands could I persuade you that “pronunciation” should be the basis?

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