The full Subject is just too long. On the one hand, there is something
I've learned from skimming through (sorry!) the Qalam message backlog, and
it's that separating a common syllable (CV, for instance) into the sounds
of its component letters is (to me) surprisingly difficult for some people.

Otoh, I've been troubled for decades by the bad (*so* tempted to say
"atrocious") job of teaching literacy here in the USA, and, it seems, in
other English-speaking countries, at least. When a quick-minded,
very-intelligent commentator and radio personality (Gary Null, NYC, ca.
1970?) sounds as though he's suddenly been hit by a major disaster in part
of his brain when trying to say "Yodolo", a trademark he encountered
without advance notice, something is terribly wrong.

When the late Robert J. Lurtsema, "classical D.J." of WGBH-FM, and very
erudite, mispronounces "Adjuvenandum" (Monteverdi) as "Auditorium" (or was
it "Adjuvitorium"?), thereby providing a merry insider's recurring joke,
again, something is drastically wrong. I need not dwell on words with
missing middle syllables, such as "nutrious", "incandent", and the
ubiquitous "inconvience" that fly furiously in the face of an
essentially-phonetic writing system.

However, reading of the difficulties of using single-letter phonetic entry
(of Vai and others, iirc) is part of a set of developing insights into why
some people (maybe even not necessarily badly taught) have so much trouble
speaking unfamiliar words in print, and spelling unfamiliar heard words.
Two friends, both very intelligent, are embarrassingly inept concerning
written language is some respects, and I'm sure they are not atypical.
(The names Murray and Swain are too difficult to spell, and to read aloud,
for numerous supposedly-literate people. I have been told this by people
with those names.)

As time goes on, it seems that extreme difficulties with what should be
simple tasks are not necessarily all consequences of wrongheaded and
untested methods of teaching.

Fwiw, it's rude to risk boasting, but yrs trly has been very fortunate in
having essentially no difficulty at all in spelling, and can cope with
some pretty formidable words and names in print. ("Cope" includes some
ignorance about details of authentic pronunciation.) My mother taught me,
and she was born in 1904, well before the "whole-word" cancer epidemic. It
also seems that (for words only) I have a well -developed eidetic (?)
("photographic") memory. To me, a misspelled word has, for much of my
life, generally looked akin to a crude sketch of a human face with the
wrong number of eyes, or its basic elements in swapped locations, such as
its mouth between its nose and its eyes. It was only fairly recently that
I concluded that this probably signifies an eidetic memory. (Of course,
there are others similarly fortunate; they say that a misspelled word
"looks funny".)

Fwiw², I'm a bit shameful about re-reading messages before posting. It
seems that seeing one's own text in a different Web page style makes one's
own goofs much easier to spot. At first, when online (pre-WWW days), I was
a perfectionist, but eventually got over that, and relaxed a bit too much.
As is so often in life, finding a happy median seems to be a worthy goal.

Best regards,

Nicholas Bodley /*|*\ Waltham, Mass. (Not "MA")
The curious hermit -- autodidact and polymath
Opera browser 8.02 -- E-mail, too.