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A.B. Normal 65 filted:
On the other hand, the crazy looking example that I used earlier is my attempt at simplifying spelling rules so ... be represented as "ee" and a short "e" just as "e". If we're going to reform, why not really reform?

And start down the slope of making English and American truly different languages...most might still figure out that AmE "lever" is cognate with BrE "leever" (or "leeva"), but why introduce that extra step?...r
Consistent, and easily understood rules are more important than phonetic spelling.

Oh, they'd live, they're used to spellings not being phonetic now. But who gets to decide which spelling is the one to be standardized?

For English the only way is to set up a multinational body, empowered by a treaty between the major english speaking countries Agreement must be reached beforehand that all will accept the same rules.

How would this be implemented? In the U.S. the government can use whatever spellings it wants in official federal publications, but it lacks the authority to mandate these spellings in the private sector.

In any case, my two cents is that spelling reform is the most safely ignorable of all linguistic discussions.
Richard R. Hershberger
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My point was simply the difficulty of how to arrive ... standardized spelling that is not phonetic (1) for many people.

Consistent, and easily understood rules are more important than phonetic spelling.

With the exception of the tiny number of words that are spelled differently in the US and the UK, the vast majority are trivially learned ("or"/"our", "er"/"re"), what sort of "consistent and easily understood rules" did you have in mind? Either you arbitrarily spell words that are pronounced identically differently or you arbitrarily spell words that are pronounced differently the same. Or, more probably, you do both. Which is where we are now. Either you let spelling give clues to etymology and morphology or you don't.
Anybody who is seriously looking at a spelling reform system must have thought about this question.

The Netherlands and Belgium did more than look at,

The Netherlands and Belgium together have a population somewhat less than that of California and an area somewhat less than South Carolina.

Evan Kirshenbaum + HP Laboratories >ActiveX is pretty harmless anyway.
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Minor incremental reforms are a disaster. The only result is that nobody (except trained professionals) still knows what the 'correct' ... nobody knows where to use c or k in all examples that come up, without consulting a wordlist. (or spellchecker)

However, if reforms made perfect sense both to educators and to the average reader they might be accepted more readily. Any reform to make sense has to be easily readable by both traditional spellers and new learners. I think there could be a set of reforms made that could meet that criteria if the entire process was handled properly.
Consistent, and easily understood rules are more important than phonetic spelling.

With the exception of the tiny number of words that are spelled differently in the US and the UK, the vast majority are trivially learned ("or"/"our", "er"/"re")

Er, insert an "of which" where appropriate.

Evan Kirshenbaum + HP Laboratories >The plural of "anecdote"
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However, if reforms made perfect sense both to educators and to the average reader they might be accepted more readily. ... there could be a set of reforms made that could meet that criteria if the entire process was handled properly.

We could start by changing the spelling "criterion" to "criteria."

I like to believe that if someone could devise a way of distributing all the earth's wealth equally to all six billion of its inhabitants, and of admmistering perfect justice for all, we could then have world peace. This dream of mine may prove easier to achieve than yours about spelling reform.
Have you seen Man of La Mancha?

Bob Lieblich
To dream ...
I've been wondering where/how regional variations arise. Perhaps if the only way we learned new words was by hearing them, ... such problems yet, since I'm at the stage of considering whether we should reform, not how .

I see something in what you're saying. Phonetic spelling would certainly help to standardize pronunciations world-wide. The variations would probably always be there, but they would probably be reduced if our written language did a better job of describing the sounding of the words. This is a great argument for phonetic spelling. I think basically the RITE spelling system's approach really makes sense in the handling of differences in pronunciation between British and American English. In some cases, both spellings would be maintained, but in most cases the pronunciation that most closely follows the traditional spelling is the one that gets preserved. That makes perfect sense to me.
"Lever" wouldn't become "leever" if we apply this rule. We would leave it spelled "lever". "Laboratory" however presents a conflict. Americans say "labratory", Brits say "laboratry". Neither comes closer to the traditional spelling so maybe in this case we allow two different spellings, one British and one American.
Wisdom and logic might lead us to take just the really hard spellings and change them. Dropping alot of silent letters

and silent spaces?
would be an obvious place to start. Letter combinations that just don't make sense could be the main ones the "board" focuses on. "Laugh" for instance should probably be spelled "laf",

I would prefer "laaf", to avoid confusion with the "cat" vowel.
and wouldn't "nife" make more sense than "knife"? On the other hand, the crazy looking example that I used earlier ... be represented as "ee" and a short "e" just as "e". If we're going to reform, why not really reform?

To be consistent with your "nife", "weed" should be changed to "wede".
I'm not a linguist or anything close to an authority on any of this, but I can see why spelling ... to learn. I'm not sure minor, incremental reforms could ever adequately address the glaring problem of unpredictability in traditional spelling.

English has always had phonetic spelling. It just doesn't have phonetic pronunciation.
The gradual drift in pronunciation over the centuries is perhaps not an insurmountable problem. The real fly in the ointment is that different language communities have drifted in different directions. If you choose a spelling that makes sense for one dialect, it's likely to be confusing for everyone else. If, for example, you use three different letters for the vowel sounds in "marry", "merry", and "Mary", it's going to be an almighty headache for those who have only two different vowels, or even one, in that triple. If you happen to merge two of those three, you'll find disagreement from people who merge a different two.

On the other hand, it's possible that radio and television are killing off the minority dialects. Spelling reform could work if we could simultaneously work on the elimination of all non-prestige dialects. I could agree to that, if you're willing to agree to nominate my dialect as the prestige one.

Peter Moylan (Email Removed) http://eepjm.newcastle.edu.au (OS/2 and eCS information and software)
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"Laugh" for instance should probably be spelled "laf", I would prefer "laaf", to avoid confusion with the "cat" vowel.

But to this American "laugh" and "cat" have the same vowel. See how easily this breaks down?
On the other hand, it's possible that radio and television are killing off the minority dialects. Spelling reform could work ... non-prestige dialects. I could agree to that, if you're willing to agree to nominate my dialect as the prestige one.

I thought Areff had already trademarked "prestige."

Bob Lieblich
Trying to rite rite
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