Re: Common Errors in English

Subject: Re: Common Errors in English
From: Bruce Byfield <bbyfield -at- axionet -dot- com>
To: Rose -dot- Wilcox -at- aps -dot- com
Date: Wed, 25 Feb 2004 20:11:31 -0800

Rose -dot- Wilcox -at- aps -dot- com wrote:

Even so, the spelling is consistent within the text (presumably), so
that is why you gain speed after several pages. \

in some cases, yes. But, in others, several different accents are being reproduced in dialogue, so the spelling isn't consistent. Instead, what happens is a mental switch in gears: I stop paying attention to the shape of words, and start responding to the sound. It helps that I have an extremely good inner ear, so that, when I read non-standard spelling, I mentally hear what is said. I suppose this is the equivalent to the fact that many people, possibly the majority, subvocalize when they read, so that, even if they are not aware of the fact, their larnyxes are actually moving.

I'm not sure this would follow because I'm not sure writing = reading as
a cognitive activity.
What differences would you see? To my mind, writing is a more complex cognitive activity than reading - certainly a more active one. So if you can write without standardized spelling, then perhaps it would follow that you can comfortably read without it, since reading is less demanding.

A person can compose in shorthand, for instance,
rather than using regular language.
This seems an interesting example, because, as you probably know, some forms of shorthand consist entirely of phonetic characters. These forms were generally considered superior to the ones that were abbreviated and/or voweless spelling. Since the whole point of shorthand is not only to record quicly, but also to read back on demand, phonetic shorthand would seem to be an argument against the innate superiority of standardized spelling.


Bruce Byfield 604.421.7177

RE: Common Errors in English: From: Rose . Wilcox

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