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  1. Moderator
    Interested in Language
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    #11

    Re: Why have there been so few orthography reforms in English?

    Quote Originally Posted by probus View Post
    Good grief. Have they really? Plow? Surely you jest.
    I must make a better effort to stay awake. But in any case I will go to my grave believing it's plough
    I should have added in American English. I wouldn't be surprised if plough​ is still preferred up north in Canada.
    I am not a teacher.

  2. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #12

    Re: Why have there been so few orthography reforms in English?

    They still speak proper English there?

  3. Senior Member
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    #13

    Re: Why have there been so few orthography reforms in English?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    It succeeded in American English(...)
    How hard is it to master another accent for a native speaker? You have a different problem to overcome than the one non-native speakers have. How hard is it to get rid of something that's already automatic for you?

    Also, why is "gh" so popular in so many different spelling ideas for how to represent a specific type of pronunciation?
    For exaplne: "light" and "lite", where "magic e" is used in the same way "gh" is used
    Last edited by Glizdka; 25-Apr-2019 at 09:37.

  4. probus's Avatar
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    #14

    Re: Why have there been so few orthography reforms in English?

    Quote Originally Posted by Glizdka View Post
    How hard is it to master another accent for a native speaker? You have a different problem to overcome than the one non-native speakers have. How hard is it to get rid of something that's already automatic for you?
    The ability to.duplicate accents varies enormously. I recently met a man from Gambia who can easily convince people from Jamaica that he is one of them. My own efforts to mimic a Jamaican accent beget laughter rather than belief. Some people just have a much better ear than others.

  5. Senior Member
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    #15

    Re: Why have there been so few orthography reforms in English?

    Also, why is "gh" so popular in so many different spelling ideas for how to represent a specific type of pronunciation?
    For exaplne: "light" and "lite", where "magic e" is used in the same way "gh" is used.
    It indicated a hard [χ] sound originally, one apparently still heard in some corners of Scotland.

    Let me say a few blunt words.

    Questioning the irregularity of a language's spelling entirely misses the point.

    Spelling diverges from pronunciation in time because written communication exists and develops not only to mimic speech visually, but as a partly separate language.

    Studies show quite conclusively that fluent reading recognizes words, or groups of letters at the least, together as a unit. You only attempt to sound out words you are not quite familiar with.

    In practice, the lack of strict phonetic correspondence is a hindrance only to learners, foreign and native alike, who must, I am convinced, take their difficulties as an urgent command to study harder.
    Retired proofreader. ESL tutor. Not a teacher. Nor a typist, evidently.

  6. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #16

    Re: Why have there been so few orthography reforms in English?

    Quote Originally Posted by Glizdka View Post
    How hard is it to get rid of something that's already automatic for you?
    I tried to adopt American spelling for a while, but found it very difficult. However, I have seen the Webmaster of this site write color because he uses the spelling so much in his code.

  7. Skrej's Avatar
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    #17

    Re: Why have there been so few orthography reforms in English?

    Quote Originally Posted by Glizdka View Post
    How hard is it to master another accent for a native speaker? You have a different problem to overcome than the one non-native speakers have. How hard is it to get rid of something that's already automatic for you?
    It varies by person, but some people can do it convincingly enough to fool even native speakers.

    When British actor Hugh Laurie auditioned for the role of Dr. Gregory House, the director who watched his audition tape had no idea Laurie wasn't American. When casting the show, the director was adamant that the role be played by an American actor, because he didn't believe that British actors could do convincing American accents. Not realizing Laurie was actually British, he described Laurie's accent as "quintessentially American".

    Here's a neat clip which shows Laurie being interviewed about the process. You can hear his American accent for the show, as well as his native British accent. Even years after the show became hugely (or should I say Hughly?) popular, many Americans didn't realize Laurie was British. Only after several years of TV interviews and such did it become common knowledge to US audiences.

    Of course, he'd been well known to English audiences long before he became internationally famous with House, M.D. The person doing the interview is his longtime collaborative partner Stephen Fry, with whom he did many comedy sketches.

    What's interesting is that even when you watch blooper clips of House, Laurie doesn't drop the accent even when he breaks character.
    Last edited by Skrej; 10-Sep-2019 at 23:31.
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

  8. probus's Avatar
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    #18

    Re: Why have there been so few orthography reforms in English?

    Quote Originally Posted by Skrej View Post
    What's interesting is that even when you watch blooper clips of House, Laurie doesn't drop the accent even when he breaks character.
    I guess that is part of the actor's craft. I've read that Sacha Baron Cohen refused to break character for days on end when he was doing Ali G. Given Ali G's personality that must have been very hard on everyone around him.
    Last edited by probus; 11-Sep-2019 at 04:42. Reason: Typo

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