robert blank wrote:
> Heill Keth
> Yes, there was an attempt at a spelling reform in the
> States. It was sometime in the late 70's or early
> 80's. It didn't really go anywhere. However, it did
> seem to make it acceptable to write "night" as "nite"
> and "light" as "lite". Although, this is not an
> official thing.
> Its a funny thing, we Americans are very picky about
> how our language is spelled eventhough better than
> half of us can't speak it worth a damn.
Yup, specially since you're very picky but don't agree what's right! I
always get the feeling it's more a 'non-English' spelling that anything
:) mostly I see people mixing the spelling of the schwa (any written
vowel can be a schwa in English!). But in general I like the idea of 'no
correct spelling' most people from USA seem to have.

> I think that
> the reform in the 70's was doomed to failure at the
> time because of our geographic isolation from the rest
> of the world. Much like Iceland. Now with the wide
> spread use of the internet that isolation is on its
> way out. I don't believe that an actual spelling
> change will occure because of any official change. I
> doubt that one day Webster's Dictionary will come out
> and say "Now 'light' is 'lite'. Though it may happen,
> the contraction "ain't" is now in the Dictionary.
I'm from Argentina, and we are often told by other Spanish speaking
countries that we speak 'bad' Spanish... of course, we could say the
same about Spain's Spanish, our dialects have the same quantity of
speakers (around 35 millions) after all! The idea of a Dictionary
*telling* one how to write a word instead of *describing* (according to
what's normal at the time) is what's I believe is called restrictivism
(the other 'side' being called something like 'descriptivism', I guess,
haven't read anything on that in over a year).

> An
> interesting side note to this is the reason there was
> a move to change the spelling in the first place was
> that with the pronuniciation of English depending on
> the word and not the letter it is quite possible to
> write the word "fish" as "ghoti". The "gh" as in
> "rough". The "ti" as in "nation" and I can't remember
> where the "o" comes from. But it works.
That is, of course, completely bogus :) 'gh' has the [f] value in some
words (like 'rough', I believe), but never, AFAIK, at the beginning of a
word (think of 'ghost', 'ghoul'... no more examples come to my mind now,
too much CRPG'ing!), 'ti' is [S] in a few places only, too (I can't
think of other place than the ending -tion, btw, maybe it's a latin
ending originally?). About that 'o', I guess that it depends on how you
were saying the 'i' to start with (btw, I guess you could change that to
'ghtti', I've heard 'ballet' said with a final 'i' :) )! After all,
English has so many dialects, I often tell my friends not to worry too
much about getting their pronunciation correct, after all, in some
dialect they are speaking perfectly :)