for those who are in or around sane

Thursday, April 6

spelling bee protestors make me yak

does anyone else find this completely asinine? perhaps it's my love of language and all of the letters therein, but DAMMIT people!! these are little kids who have something to be(e) proud of! i'm proud of my vocabulary and love of correctly spelled words (even if i can't spell them myself - that's what the little red squiggly line is for) and our bizzare phoenetics! yes. i know i dont stand alone here. AND, if other countries w/ different languages still use little accent marks, even though they aren't needed anymore, then we shouldn't be forced to use words like (retch!!) "enuf"!!

i'm done now. thank you.

12 Comments:

Anonymous Lo said...

I second this.

I would like to, once again, point out that most of what's wrong with this country is that too many people have way too much time on their hands. People who picket spelling bees should be forced to get two jobs. Then they would quit thier whining and go home and watch TV and good spellers could spell well in peace.

People say the same thing about grammar, and it drives me nuts. For those people, I like to point out a wonderful little "Dear John" letter that one of the teachers uses in her class. The same text is punctuated in two ways, and one winds up being a love letter and the other a break up letter.

I am not a good speller and I can still respect people who are. Are we such a bunch of monkeys that we can't learn to spell properly? We have to spell like "hookd on foniks werkd for mee"

Maybe we should all spell like people do in text messages since that's all anybody can do anymore anyway.

9:42 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think people who can't spell are silly but people who get all high-and-mighty about their good spelling are just as silly. But people who claim that the current spelling of words like "cough, bough, through and though" leads to increased crime are certifiably insane.

Oh, and Happy Birthday!

1:15 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stupid anonymous comments, the above was me, JK, aka emperor tomato ketchup et al.

1:17 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, thank you, emperor! :o)

i would like to see this "dear john" letter, Lo. i feel that it will also emphasize what i am talking about here.

dr g

2:25 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I second the seeing of the Dear John letter. And I second the 'asinine' comment. I thought it was a bit of a stretch to place society's problems on spelling. Seriously.

I am glad you wrote about this, because I was getting around to it... slowly, but you sent me the link so it is only right. Seriously... seriously... i can't wrap my mind around it.

10lees

11:33 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'd also like to see the "dear John" letter.

The legacies of our language may be illogical, but they are there for a region. "simplifying" our language amounts to destroying a great deal of evidence for etymologists about the evolution of language and it's use.

Are we seriously going to have a political commision that determines the proper spellings of words? How will we be punished if we spell them wrong? What if we have an accepted pronounciation of a word that a famous person missays (take dubbya's mispronounciation of nuclear for example).

I'm with Lo. These people have too much time. Even if I was bored out of my skull, I'd take up heroin before I joined the Simple Spelling Society.

-rhett

9:01 AM

 
Blogger littlebmouse said...

The thing that I don't understand is who thinks its easier to spell or read with phonics. I would say I'm pretty much one of the worst spellers out there. I'm not much with puncuation either (sorry lo). But when I try to read that are spelled the way they sound I get even more confused.
Did they actually go out and ask people who are bad spellers what they thought. No I'm sure they decied to be all high and mighty and do it for them. I didn't read the whole article because it was giving me a headache. I don't need more headaches

9:32 AM

 
Anonymous Joel Calhoun said...

Here is an example of someone who tried to do this the right way. John Wilkes once designed a language that the simplified spelling society would have been proud of, and the scientific community could rally around like the metric system. The problem with language is most people who have any intention of learning how to read and write already do, and noone is sitting in a prison somewhere moaning "When will they design a language that's not so hard?" That's why John Wilkes language was never used outside of a few crazy cooks in the Royal Society.

Joel Calhoun

7:19 PM

 
Anonymous Lo said...

Ok, I tried this once already, but blogger deleted it. Here we go again.

While John Wlkes's langauge is very scientific, it is not very practical. Basically, anytime you assign arbitrary categories to words, you are limiting the growth of the language because if our logic changes (i.e. a mineral becomes precious when it was not precious before) then you either have to continue on using logic from previous centuries or change whole portions of the language. That is how languages die.

Further, English has such a system. English is based mostly on Latin root words, and the problems are similar. Latin has passed out of everyday use (it is a dead language), and so it does not evolve and cannot encompass all current definitions. So, basically the problem is that nobody bothers to learn the Latin root words (which, like prefixes and suffixes, can give you part of the meaning of the word), and the language (and life) keeps changing beyond the scope of Latin communication, so people don't know how to spell. I am included in this. If I would learn the difference, once and for all, between the suffix -ence and the suffix -ance, I would not have half the problems I have with spelling.

This was, of course, better the first time I wrote it, but there it is as best as I can reconstruct it.

8:36 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Joel Calhoun!!! Hope you are doing well!!! :-)

I have to agree that English does have a pattern and can't be completely scientific, but I think it's sortof in the same ballpark.

Also, I have to agree that reading phoenetic spelling is almost impossible for me. At best I have to read out loud or mouth the words (which loks incredibly silly and which you would all tease me about if you could see me. At worst I just keep reading and pretend I know what is happening in the book. This is especially a problem when you read a book like Silas Mariner which is from a different generation and then Eliot writes ''e 'ent 'o 'own' and you are going 'what the hell??'

10:25 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh and that was me - 10lees

10:26 AM

 
Blogger dr. gonzo said...

"he went to town"... duh... ;o)

11:40 AM

 

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