Nicholas Bodley wrote:

>I truly hope that such bizarre cultural cancers will disappear in the long
>term, but if they don't, then our alphabet, for some people, will become
>more like the basic graphical elements used for writing CJK, but probably
>with a far-less rigorous ordinary working set of definitions; the letters
>will become closer to loosely-defined abstractions. (It was a remarkable
>experience studying the Nelson (JP-->EN) dictionary for the first time;
>numerous kanji had related meanings, but, small wonder that katakana is
>apparently used for legal documents.)
In Geoffrey Sampson's book _Writing Systems_, he explores the concept of
considering English spelling as partway to logographs, like CJK. So
yes, our words may be viewed as complicated logographs with perhaps some
phonetic "hinting". Nothing necessarily wrong with that view, and it
does provide some excuse for the horrendously inconsistent spelling of

(I remember having a discussion like this once upon a time with Sami
Laitala; at one point he refused even to dignify the subject of the
conversation by referring to it as "the English spelling system," on the
grounds that it was in no wise a "system"!)