Spelling Nazis really get my ghoti

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by headbang8, Sep 18, 2005.

  1. headbang8

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    It's a pleasure to see so many people on this board who love their language, and who use it with such grace and care.

    But we can reach a point where care becomes stifling, and grace gets lost in sludge.

    Hey, I'm as guilty as the next guy when it comes to showing off my modest command of English spelling and grammar. For what it's worth.

    This sort of stuff can be amusing for everyone.

    But we sometimes dismiss what people say because of the way they say it. Let's not make moral judgements about people by the way they spell or write. That's good old-fashioned snobbery.

    Many members of the board are gracious enough to point out that for some posters, English isn't the mother tongue. Mistakes should be accepted--even encouraged; that's how you learn.

    Let's extend that to posters for whom English IS the mother tongue. And a mother of a tongue it is.

    Forget about the inconsistent grammatical rules of English. Every language has those. Besides, we don't learn the grammar of our language by studying rules--it's organic.

    Spelling, though, isn't organic. One has to learn to spell. And up to 15% of our population finds it impossible. Many of them are labelled dyslexic.

    Funny, English speaking countries harbour two or three times the number of diagnosed dyslexics as, say, Italy, where spelling and sound are pretty consistent.

    People like the Simplified Spelling Society argue that we confuse kids who can't spell with others who suffer genuine problems like cross-dominance. If we reform our spelling, kids will read sooner and more easily. And it will be much easier for English to serve as the international lingua franca which, for better or worse, it has become.

    Small steps such as Spelling Reform One could help. It simply says we should spell all short "e" sounds consistently, with a single "e". It creates one prominent homonym ("read" to "red", easily distinguished in context) and resolves several other ambiguities that are not so easy to distinguish through context (read/read, lead/lead etc...). And that notorious mis-spelling, grammer, is no longer the whipping boy of strict grammerians. I don't agree with all of his reforms, but the guardians of our language need to start loosening the reins somewhere.

    Since I fell in love with someone for whom English is a second language (a distant second, I sometimes think), I've come to realise how little these sorts of issues count. Spelling is the least of his worries.

    Bad spellers aren't bad thinkers. All you people who seek to uphold high standards of English expression, just chill, willya?

    hedbang8
     
  2. Dr Rock

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    who lives in the east 'neath the willow tree? Sex
    I disagree ... but then you already knew that :p
     
  3. Dr. Dilznick

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    Pure comedic gold. This post had me in tears:

    <!--QuoteBegin-madame_zora

    Speaking as her mother now, I can assure you Julianna is far more critical of herself than she&#39;d ever be of anyone else. Pedantic? Perhaps, but you may well be assured that the intention is genuine. We have both called each other or looked things up in a dictionary or online to discover a proper spelling or tense usage of a particular word.[/quote]
     
  4. thirteenbyseven

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    ...it&#39;s cuz I ain&#39;t been to skoo...
     
  5. B_Hung Muscle

    B_Hung Muscle New Member

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    uh-oh, you&#39;re going to incur the wrath of a very vocal and extremely prissified bunch in here...
     
  6. Dr. Dilznick

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    I suggest that DoubleMeatWhopper makes up his mind whether he prefers American English, or British English before he starts lecturing others. The favourite / colour / rumour thing is getting lame.
     
  7. madame_zora

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    Aww, I like lame sometimes.

    I use cheifly British spellings often, mainly to distance myself from from the lax standards of cheifly American English.

    No harm in presenting opinions though. If you were assuming I&#39;d be upset, you are mistaken. If anyone sees me as a spelling Nazi because I prefer good spelling to bad, that is okay with me.
     
  8. prepstudinsc

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    I don&#39;t mind British spelling when it&#39;s a person from the UK or one of it&#39;s territories using the spelling. When it&#39;s an American using British spelling, it looks and sounds stuck up and retarded. We don&#39;t use "ou" in color, we don&#39;t use "que" at the end of check, we spell words with "er" not "re", the same holds true with "se" and "ze" in some words. When you are in the USA use American English, when you are in the UK, use British English. Sorry to sound snotty, but the British spellings come off like someone trying to be pissy and elegant and just trying way too hard. (a la Hyacinthe Bucket)
     
  9. Dr. Dilznick

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    Fuck you talking about, woman?


    Why stop there? I mean, there&#39;s a lot more to British English than just spelling. This just seems like a half-arsed attempt.

    Excellent career advice, though. Your résumé will certainly get more attention this way. *cough*
     
  10. Dr Rock

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    who lives in the east &#039;neath the willow tree? Sex
    eh. I wouldn&#39;t say written american english is generally any "laxer" than the british equivalent. I got into the habit of using american spellings when I worked in boston, NYC and philly ... and I hate changing my habits ;)
     
  11. B_DoubleMeatWhopper

    B_DoubleMeatWhopper New Member

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    There is a reason that I normally use British spellings. It has nothing to do with being snobbish or as an attempt to be elegant. English is not my native language: I did not grow up seeing English words with any real frequency. When I came to the United States, I wrote English according to the way I saw it printed in books. The spelling was American, and so was mine. When I began college and chose English literature as my major, the majority of my reading materials were printed in the UK, so guess which standard of spelling was used. I was so used to seeing British spelling and quoting passages from British sources in my assignments that using British spelling became first nature for me. With a concerted effort, I can manage American spelling. I am not uncomfortable with reading either version. Whether I write colour or color, either is preferable to the spelling coller that appeared in one of my students&#39; essays. The only way that I knew what he intended that word to mean was his use of grene [sic] in the same sentence. After reading that essay, seeing words like coller and grene, not to mention sumer, rolercoster, cuzins, unkel, etc., makes me think that it is not correct spelling that is &#39;lost in the sludge&#39;. For some of us, language is more than a mere medium of communication: it is an art. For those of us who appreciate literature, it&#39;s difficult to view it in any other light. If it offends anyone here that I refuse to reduce language to a strictly utilitarian existence, he can simply disregard my posts: plenty of members do that anyway.
     
  12. dcwrestlefan

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    intelligence is a turnon, both on a platonic level and otherwise.

    brit versus usa words aside, if sumwon caint spel eevin simpul shet right, than its spels trobul. i wont my peeps to bea lidderit.
     
  13. thirteenbyseven

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    You are also more literate than 99% of the people on this planet. To you language is analogous to a classical musical composition, you vary sentence structure much as a composer crescendos and decrescendos. Nuance is important. As a member of those of us on this board spatially dominant, I always enjoy your posts DoubleMeatWhopper. Hell I was always a Burger King kinda dude.
     
  14. Pecker

    Pecker Retired Moderator
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    I strongly feel that good spelling comes from good speaking. If you cannot pronounce a word properly you will have a devil of a time trying to visualize it so that you can spell it.

    Sure, some of us have an easier time with proper language - but it&#39;s because we have a desire to do it right.

    Dumbing down the rules by phoneticizing everything makes about as much sense as Eubonics. You can&#39;t make anybody more intelligent by simply changing the rules.
     
  15. prepstudinsc

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    The real question is how are these students passing through elementary school and junior high or middle school not learning the basics of spelling? Are their teachers that incompetent or do the just not care?
     
  16. jonb

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    Except for traveller&#39;s cheque.

    Except for euchre and chancre.

    <!--QuoteBegin-prepstudinsc
    @Sep 18 2005, 11:02 AM
    the same holds true with "se" and "ze" in some words.
    [post=344391]Quoted post[/post]​
    [/quote]
    Does not apply to exercise, incise, circumcise, concise, or a number of other -cise words. Also doesn&#39;t apply to words not ending in -yse or -ise.

    Just don&#39;t put yuker or shanker. LOL
     
  17. B_Hung Muscle

    B_Hung Muscle New Member

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    A very wise thought. I second it.
     
  18. B_Hung Muscle

    B_Hung Muscle New Member

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    I suggest that DoubleMeatWhopper makes up his mind whether he prefers American English, or British English before he starts lecturing others. The favourite / colour / rumour thing is getting lame.
    [post=344371]Quoted post[/post]​
    [/b][/quote]


    Weird, I spent five years studying in England, and never used British spelling in one single essay or in my thesis. In fact, the Americans there who adopted British spelling and accents (kinda like Madonna today) were totally ridiculed, and most of them lost the pretense pretty quickly.

    I want to show Madame Zora love, but I&#39;m not sure how British spelling makes up for a laxity in American English, chiefly used or otherwise.
     
  19. jonb

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    It all depends. In scientific and diplomatic use, British spellings are preferred.
     
  20. B_Hung Muscle

    B_Hung Muscle New Member

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    Huh? Not so very much.

    No American embassy post sends cables back to Washington using British spelling.

    The Journal of the American Medical Association uses American spelling, like immunization not immunisation.
     
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