Headline, April26, 2014


THINK IT IS ?! :: !WOW! "'

MARGINALLY accomplished,   nay;  middling successful honour, -nay, nay, -leader of quite-on everyone's-lips.

Yes, English is the world's biggest real-virtual star.

If handheld tablet devices come into popular use, then providing for a phonetic shorthand such as  Gregg   would be very effective, as would software for teaching it on machine that would be using it.

Indeed, for blogs, twitters and  e-mail, user would opt to see the shorthand directly rather than the transcription, and this would take up less space on the display and be easier to read. Gregg would probably be preferable to Pitman, which distinguishes line thickness.   

Phonetic shorthand would not be suitable at least as a recording medium. For enduring English text of the opposite kind, particularly if it's declarative and cogent  -for the same reason that reforming English spelling into phonetic form would not be desirable.

Josef Vachek explained this in detail in   "English Orthography : A Functional Approach"  in 1982. The problem is the resolution of ambiguity.    

Transient English is conversational to some degree and in a social context, so that ambiguities are mostly resolved without thought because of that context, and it can be resolved conversationally if necessary.

Enduring English is isolated in the sense that the reader is not necessarily familiar with the context of the information, so it is useful to remove ambiguities by using homophony- that is, by spelling words differently even though they are pronounced the same way:

A well known example is  :  right-write-wright-write
This is not to argue that spelling reform can or should attempt or should attempt to remove ambiguity altogether. There are far too many meanings to go around, and far too many homonyms in ordinary English:

Such as the verb and noun bear. To complicate matters, to complicate matters, there are also homographs such as the verb and noun lead.

The role of English as an international language offers one reason for simplifying it. Spelling reform is an approach that deserves consideration provided it is toward an :

Orthography that removes the worst inconsistencies and is carried out in stages.

An alternative is quasi-reform through using digital  typographic techniques to indicate the pronunciation without changing the spelling. A computer hosting quasi-reformed text could easily modify the strength of the pronunciation markings to suit the reader, and this could be used to teach learners how to read text aloud.

Yet another approach is pronunciation reform, which would need to be instituted gradually by, for example, first pronouncing the  h   in words like which and what, which would then be distinct from witch and watt.
Still another approach is the gradual reintroduction and extension of diacritical marks, so that resume would be distinct from resume, for instance.

In the long run this would require upgrading keyboards to make it easy to key certain marks in, although as an interim measure software could apply some marks. There is a curious precedent for this:

Microsoft's Word, the least the version I use for writing , automatically puts a dieresis over the   i  in na├»ve but not in naif nor in Chloe.

Any representational changes to a language like English would be difficult to implement. Were any such changes to be made, however, digital technology and the cooperation of the computing profession would be needed to make the change succeed. 

THE online society us assuredly here to stay, but it will change.  "Thankfully there are now the stirrings of a backlash against the cult of social media.

In his book :  You Are Not A Gadget,  Jacob Lanier   'defends the authorship and individuality against the deafening of banality of the  online crowd".

The banality is the pity. It's most likely source is the lack of individuality and depth in the culture of the banal:

This can be traced back to the failure of the education system. One aspect is, in David Crystal's words, that  "kids have got to grow up realising that in this day and age, standard English is an absolute criterion of an :

Educated background, and you're not going to get certain type of jobs if you don't spell well."'

In my opinion, is best learned through the computer-administered  drill and practice.

With respectful dedication to the Students, Professors and Teachers of the world. See Ya all on !WOW!   -the World Students Society Computers-Internet-Wireless:

"' Rethinking Formal Methods "'

Good Night & God Bless!

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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