Tuesday, August 28, 2007

It Could Happen to Anybody, I Guess

Picked this up last night. I was up late to watch the lunar eclipse, which was spectacular here. Temps in the mid-sixties, bell-clear skies, dead calm. Best lunar eclipse I've ever seen, and I've witnessed quite a few. The error was fixed within seconds: As soon as the page auto-reloaded.

If I notice a spelling error, it has to be blatantly obvious, because I couldn't spell my way out of a wet paper sack. I decided long ago that spelling in English had zero logic to it - I believe I was in the fifth grade at the time - and so was nothing but a memory trick, and I didn't have the inclination to care. I even turn spell check off because it irritates me so much.

I once heard Sting say that English was a "whore of a language" because it would take "anything into it." That's the problem right there. Our words for the mumber two and knife, for example: Swedish has "tvo" and "knive" respectively (And, pronounced like they look, too), and so you can see the origin clearly (I took a Swedish language class when I was in Stockholm, and was amazed how easy it was to learn because of all the common words). But, those spellings make no sense by English pronunciation standards. Then, of course, anything ending in "-ment" comes from French. Examples from other languages abound.

I've always thought that if a vowel is to be long, it ought to be followed by a single consonant, and if short, it ought to be followed by two consonants or a doubled consonant. This would be logical and easy to remember, but it isn't always the case: "Vilify" for example, ought to be "villify" according to the way we pronounce it. But then, "vilify" comes from Latin, doesn't it? *sigh* Then there's that whole "I" before "E" except after "C" thing: Why not just "I" before "E" and leave it at that?

If "Hooked on Phonics Works for You," you are more clairvoyant than Kreskin.


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