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Millie Bernard Shaw? - The online computery journal thingy of a turtle

Feb. 13th, 2008

07:55 pm - Millie Bernard Shaw?

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In today's Ozy & Millie, Millie tries to improve English spelling, joining a long line of thinkers who have attempted the same thing, including such names as Andrew Carnegie, Theodore Roosevelt, and George Bernard Shaw.

Just for fun, I wondered how the strip would go if Millie followed Shaw's lead and used a different alphabet:

Millie uses the Shavian alphabet

Transliteration: "My language improvement, by Millie. I have invented a new alphabet. Its letters represent the actual sounds of English so it's way better than the Roman alphabet used to be."

Current Mood: mischievousshow-off
Current Music: Tom Waits - Cold Cold Ground

Comments:

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From:kinkyturtle
Date:February 14th, 2008 12:00 am (UTC)
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Yeah, English has so many more vowel sounds than vowel letters, forcing spelling reformers to either make them do double duty, use diacritics, use odd spellings like double letters, or invent completely new alphabets.

"Also it means regions that speak English with different accents are going to spell words differently from one another."

They do that already, but confusingly the words they spell differently are not the ones they pronounce differently. Howcome izzit that we spell it 'tire' while you spell it 'tyre', even though we both say it the same? And meanwhile we both spell it 'military', but we say 'militaaairy' while you say 'militry'. At least with a phonetic alphabet, the spelling changes would match up with the pronunciation changes.
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From:deckardcanine
Date:February 14th, 2008 12:10 am (UTC)
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I think "aluminum" and "aluminium" are pronounced differently. But for the most part, you're right. If you go to gaol, be careful when you use the lava-tree.

I figure we can just write words the way they appear in dictionary pronunciation guides. Not that I'd prefer that to what we do now.

If nobody else brings this to Define Cynical, I will -- with your permission.
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:February 14th, 2008 12:29 am (UTC)
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Sure, go ahead.

Dictionary pronunciation guides? If we're going to do that, I wish we'd go all the way and use the International Phonetic Alphabet.
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From:vakkotaur
Date:February 14th, 2008 12:41 am (UTC)
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And they both differ from the originally proposed name for the metal: alumium. Since it was something found in alum...
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:February 14th, 2008 02:21 am (UTC)
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That reminds me of one of the things that sorta bugs me whenever I use Shavian. It's got separate letters for the vowel sounds in "want", "cot" and "caught", but I pronounce the vowels in "want" and "cot" the same way. Should I use the letter on or the letter ah for that sound? I guess I should use ah, but that means I end up never using on, and it just kinda looks so sad and lonely, sitting there on the Shavian shelf...
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:February 14th, 2008 03:31 am (UTC)
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They're not different for me. I say [wAnt] and [kAt], and for "caught" I say [kQt].

Maybe "father" would have been a better choice?
Father, cot, caught.
I say [fAD@`], [kAt] and [kQt].
Apparently in England they say [fAD@], [kQt] and [kOt].
How do you say them?
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From:timmowarner
Date:February 14th, 2008 09:22 pm (UTC)
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Who can read these crazy chicken scratchings?
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:February 15th, 2008 01:35 am (UTC)
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[aI k@n ri:d Di:z "kreIzi: "tSIk@n "skr{tSINz bi"kVz @v maI "lr\=nINz]
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From:timmowarner
Date:February 14th, 2008 12:09 am (UTC)
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That was funnier than the actual strip today.
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From:timmowarner
Date:February 14th, 2008 01:58 am (UTC)
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Yes!
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:February 14th, 2008 03:26 am (UTC)
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I do like the original joke, though; most spelling reforms end up looking like texting shorthand or just really bad spelling, of the kind that makes the brains of good spellers like Millie and myself itch.
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From:nefaria
Date:February 14th, 2008 12:51 pm (UTC)
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Buzzy's been working at this for years now, I think he's gotten rather good at it. http://notasquirrel.livejournal.com/
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