Re: Common Errors in English

Subject: Re: Common Errors in English
From: "Mark L. Levinson" <nosnivel -at- netvision -dot- net -dot- il>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2004 01:53:01 +0200

Bruce writes:
> In this case, for example, a historical perspective
> shows that standardized spelling is a convenience,
> not an absolute necessity.

Standardized spelling (of English, at least)
came with printing. But with standardized
spelling and printing came fast reading.
As someone else remarked here, we tend to read
by identifying visual patterns rather than by
sounding out the words. Take away the spellings,
and the patterns are gone, leaving us to reconstruct
each word laboriously afresh from its phonemes
each time we read it.

I think reading was harder for Shakespeare (it
certainly looks harder for his characters, like
Malvolio) than it is for us.

Mark L. Levinson
Herzliya, Israel
nosnivel -at- netvision -dot- net -dot- il


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