Mark E. Shoulson wrote:
> 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
> English.
> (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"!)

Regarding Sampson, "What's good is not new, and what's new is not good."

English spelling is widely regarded as quasi-logographic (giving rise to
the "whole word" method of Leaving Every Child Behind), and it most
certainly is not "horrendously inconsistent" or "in no wise a system"!
Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...