I'm also trying to make sense of the "whole-word"/"phonetic" argument.
I actually am not sure which way I was taught. Sure, I have a few of
these amusing stories, but on the whole I don't have any trouble reading
words I've never seen before, getting name-pronunciations right, etc.
But I also could read the "scrambled" text that was floating around the
Internet a few weeks ago.

This may be related to the problems some folks have when presented with
non-English words transliterated. A lot of people, when studying
Klingon, seem to have an inordinate amount of trouble remembering not to
apply English rules of spelling to the pronunciation, e.g. remembering
that {law'} rhymes with "cow" and not "maw". I sometimes find myself
mystified how it can give them *that* much trouble (sure, you mess up
the first few times, but you should get the hang of it, right?) Maybe
they didn't have the "phonetic" reading background.

I know my kids will sound out unfamiliar words... I don't know what
method they're officially being taught.


Nicholas Bodley wrote:

>On Thu, 03 Jun 2004 22:26:33 -0400, Mark E. Shoulson <mark@...> wrote:
>>Yeah, me too; for a long time the word in my head was [alIbeit]; no idea
>>where the extra vowel came from. Similarly, for quite some time I
>>simultaneously knew the word pronounced [dE'bri], and I also knew a
>>*different* word in print, "debris," which in my mind was pronounced
>>['d@...] (again a misreading, transposing the b and r for some reason.
>>And no, I'm not notably dyslexic; I was an early reader in fact).
>>Somewhere along the line it clicked together...
>There was a report this morning on National Public Radio from Hamtramck,
>Mich. Surely enough, it was consistently [mis]pronounced "Hamtramick"...