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Spelng

See also Spelng Videos

My notes and links on English Spelling

  1. - The general view is that it is to difficult to change it. Yet it has changed. eg James Howell- Grammar of 1662
  2. - Ther is no English language authority or regulator. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_language_regulators
  3. - Consequently there is no authoritatively correct way to spell

“In some languages orthography is regulated by language academies, although for many languages (including English) there are no such authorities, and orthography develops in a more organic way” From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthography

orthography

noun

1.the conventional spelling system of a language: From A internet Dictionary

Why Spelling is Such a Mess

Why the logic of how it changes is floored

According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED): “The original OED was published between 1884 and 1928” and was not revised until the 1980s.

https://public.oed.com/history/rewriting-the-oed/editing-of-entries/

the OED say they are the definitive record of the English language. but they are not the authority for the English language. because there is none. see point 5 above.

How does a word qualify for inclusion in the OED?

https://www.oed.com/page/faqs/Frequently+asked+questions#qualify

How are words added to the OED?

https://public.oed.com/how-words-enter-the-oed/

it would appear that no words are ever removed from the OED just new ones are added. I think that means the new spelling of an existing word is added as a new word, but as alternative spelling

From reading the above link you will see the the idea is that as spoken words change so will the dictionary.

the problem with the logic of all this is that most people believe that you have to spell correctly. whatever “correctly” is. therefore, not allowing any deviation in the way words are spelt. taking this to it's logical conclusion, if everybody spells as per the dictionary the dictionary will never change. so the logic of how spelling changes, is flawed.

before dictionaries existed there was no acceptable way of spelling. each of the religious monks that did all the writing spelt the way they wanted to. so the spelling evolved. with the advent of dictionaries and the printing press, the major evolution of spelling came to an end.

where now stuck with a system of spelling the doesn't meet the requirements of a modern society.

Some Possible Suggestions for Change

The relationship between reading and Spelng

Most of what I have read indicates a strong relationship. But I have yet to find any longitudinal studies with control groups that show that.

A typical study: https://www.nmu.edu/education/sites/DrupalEducation/files/UserFiles/Johnson_Mandi_MP.pdf

Some statistics on spelling

http://www.viviancook.uk/SpellStats/Index.html

From: https://www.learnthat.org/pages/view/literacy_facts.html

There are more than 1,768 ways of spelling 40 sounds in English

Source: Welcome to the Solution to English Illiteracy. http://literacy-research.com/

Eighty percent of the words in the English language dictionary do not accurately indicate how they should be pronounced.

Source: The American Literacy Council.

From: https://www.lingholic.com/how-many-words-do-i-need-to-know-the-955-rule-in-language-learning-part-2/

“We have seen that the Oxford English Dictionary contains 171,476 words in current use, whereas a vocabulary of just 3000 words provides coverage for around 95% of common texts. If you do the math, that’s 1.75% of the total number of words in use! That’s right, by knowing 1.75% of the English dictionary, you’ll be able to understand 95% of what you read.”

Reports on levels of Literacy

The way we teach most children to read sets them up to fail

Present spelling system is child abuse?

What is being insisted upon here is nothing other than we have all said repeatedly over the years as a basis for the education of children. We have said, “Don't lie to children.” The position here put forward is that our orthography is deceptive - it is one lie after another and hence it constitutes, not education, but psychic child abuse. Unnecessarily difficult and confusing word forms which many children fail, are not helping them to “grow”- it is not “educating” them - it is child abuse.

From: http://nuenglish.net/articles.htm

Word with the Most meanings

The Most Complicated Word in English is Only Three Letters Long

https://www.rd.com/culture/most-complicated-word-in-english/

Run - has 465 Meanings

This Is the Only Letter in the English Language That Is Never Silent

Spelng doesnt mater

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh?

From:http://www.viviancook.uk/SpellHumour/Jokes.htm

English is NOT an alphabetic language

Very few people realize that students of about 98 percent of alphabetic languages can learn to read fluently in less than three months. Most of all, they do not realize that English is not an alphabetic language — it is a logographic writing system like Chinese writing. In the same way that a certain stroke in a certain position represents a word or part of a word in Chinese, certain letters in a certain order represent a word in English. As a result, like Chinese writing, every word in a person’s reading vocabulary must be learned one-at-a-time by rote memory or by repeated use of the word.

From: http://literacy-research.com

Why people do not want to believe what the real problem with Spelng is

Here is the most simple and logical explanation for the contradictions in the newspaper articles at the start of this blog. As you know, we human beings not only have the ability to do as we please (within the constraints of our surroundings and our physical limitations, of course), we also have the ability to believe as we please. As a result — in most cases — people will believe what they want to believe until they see proof — that they cannot continue to ignore — that their belief is wrong. You have probably had the same experience that I have had. In an argument, you prove to someone that your argument is correct. You see that person a couple of days later and he or she says, “There must have been something wrong in that argument, I still believe. . . . (and they repeat what they said during the argument).” People do not want to believe that what they learned as a child — or even something that they merely assumed at any time in their life — is wrong. As you know, people absolutely detest being wrong. People want to believe that, although most American schools may be poor or fair, their child’s school is doing a good job. They want to believe that their child’s teacher is doing a good job because they want their child to succeed in life. They want to believe that their child is smart and will do well if properly motivated. They tend to blame themselves for not properly motivating their child because they are so “busy.” They don’t have time or don’t know how to help their child with their homework, for example, as they feel that they should.

From: http://literacy-research.com/

How one persons mistake made in 1755 is caused learning problems for all the English speaking World

Samuel Johnson published “A Dictionary of the English Language” on 4 April 1755

However by his own account me made numerous errors. “Boswell[25] relates that “A lady once asked him [Johnson] how he came to define pastern as the knee of a horse: instead of making an elaborate reply, as she expected, he at once replied, 'Ignorance, Madam, pure ignorance.'” ”

See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Dictionary_of_the_English_Language#Criticism

He attempted, unsuccessfully, to have different spelling for different meanings of words. Like to, two and too. He must had known that it was an impossible task, considering that some one letter words have multiple meanings and a simple 3 letter word “run” now has 465 meanings. https://www.rd.com/culture/most-complicated-word-in-english/

Words that are spelt the same but sound different

  1. - THE BANDAGE WAS WOUND AROUND THE WOUND.
  2. - THE FARM WAS USED TO PRODUCE PRODUCE.
  3. - THE DUMP WAS SO FULL THAT IT HAD TO REFUSE MORE REFUSE.
  4. - WE MUST POLISH THE POLISH FURNITURE.
  5. - HE COULD LEAD IF HE WOULD GET THE LEAD OUT.
  6. - THE SOLDIER DECIDED TO DESERT HIS DESSERT IN THE DESERT.
  7. - SINCE THERE IS NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT,HE THOUGHT IT WAS TIME TO PRESENT THE PRESENT.
  8. - A BASS WAS PAINTED ON THE HEAD OF THE BASS DRUM.
  9. - WHEN SHOT AT, THE DOVE DOVE INTO THE BUSHES.
  10. - I DID NOT OBJECT TO THE OBJECT.
  11. - THE INSURANCE WAS INVALID FOR THE INVALID.
  12. - THERE WAS A ROW AMONG THE OARSMEN ABOUT HOW TO ROW.
  13. - THEY WERE TOO CLOSE TO THE DOOR TO CLOSE IT.
  14. - THE BUCK DOES FUNNY THINGS WHEN THE DOES ARE PRESENT.
  15. - A SEAMSTRESS ANDA SEWER FELL DOWN INTO A SEWER LINE,
  16. - TO HELP WITH PLANTING, THE FARMER TAUGHT HIS SOW TO SOW
  17. - THE WIND WAS TOO STRONG TO WIND THE SAIL.
  18. - AFTER A NUMBER OF INJECTIONS MY JAW GOT NUMBER.
  19. - UPON SEEING THE TEAR IN THE PAINTING I SHED A TEAR.
  20. - I HAD TO SUBJECT THE SUBJECT TO A SERIES OF TESTS.
  21. - How CAN I INTIMATE THIS TO MY MOST INTIMATE FRIEND?

Notice that it is relatively easy to read the above because the words are put in context. Based On this the argument that words that sound the same but have different meaning, should have different spelling, does not hold true

List of Objections to Spelng reform rebuttals

Spelng B

“in theory, you could win a spelling bee without actually knowing how to read or write at all. It's a contest that rewards diligence, not cultivation.”

From an Article “Changes To French Spelling Make Us Wonder: Why Is English So Weird?” https://www.npr.org/2016/02/24/467218639/new-changes-to-french-beg-the-question-why-are-english-spellings-so-weird

Also the Trailer to the movie,

Spelling the dream - trailer (2018)

https://youtu.be/upvgZ3CmZ-0

Spelling has nothing to do with intelligence, so why do we keep acting like it does?

Decoding vs Comprehension

“I don’t understand what I’m reading” – reading comprehension problems (and what to do about them)

https://www.banterspeech.com.au/i-dont-understand-what-im-reading-reading-comprehension-problems-and-what-to-do-about-them/

How Do Kids Learn and to Read? What the Science Says

HTTPS://www.edweek.org/teaching-learning/how-do-kids-learn-to-read-what-the-science-says/2019/10

“How do children learn to read?

For almost a century, researchers have argued over the question. Most of the disagreement has centered on the very beginning stages of the reading process, when young children are first starting to figure out how to decipher words on a page.

One theory is that reading is a natural process, like learning to speak. If teachers and parents surround children with good books, this theory goes, kids will pick up reading on their own. Another idea suggests that reading is a series of strategic guesses based on context, and that kids should be taught these guessing strategies.

But research has shown that reading is not a natural process(1), and it’s not a guessing game. Written language is a code. Certain combinations of letters predictably represent certain sounds. And for the last few decades, the research has been clear: Teaching young kids how to crack the code—teaching systematic phonics—is the most reliable way to make sure that they learn how to read words.

Of course, there is more to reading than seeing a word on a page and pronouncing it out loud. As such, there is more to teaching reading than just teaching phonics. Reading requires children to make meaning out of print. They need to know the different sounds in spoken language and be able to connect those sounds to written letters in order to decipher words. They need deep background and vocabulary knowledge so that they understand the words they read. Eventually, they need to be able to recognize most words automatically and read connected text fluently, attending to grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure.”

Notice that reading is not a natural process and requiries the ability be decode symbols.

The Science of Learning to Read Words: A Case for Systematic Phonics Instruction

Argument against a science of reading

8 Ways to Read and The Science of Reading

Where did English come from Claire Bowern

How the Oxford dictionary works

https://languages.oup.com/google-dictionary-en/

They recon its “descriptive lexicography”. But who decides on the sample documents they use in this methodology?

Here they say:

“To gather this evidence, our corpora – massive collections of spoken and written language data – track and record the very latest language developments across an enormous variety of publications, covering everything from specialist journals to newspapers to social media posts.”

But do not, as far as I can determine, reveal their sources of material for that evidence.

Even access to ther corpora is restricted as indicated here.

This give a whole new perspective of the concept of freedom of speech (writing).

See above for why the logic of how spelng changes is floored

spelng.txt · Last modified: 2021/07/31 09:34 by geoff