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An Objective Filosofy of Linguistics
The Rational Argumentator ^ | January 5, 2004 | G. Stolyarov II

Posted on 01/22/2004 10:49:07 AM PST by G. Stolyarov II

In this essay I shall be implementing an orthografic innovation: at all instances in which the combination “ph” is part of a word and is pronounced as “f,” it shall be spelled as “f.” (For example, “phenomenon” shall become “fenomenon.”) Where the “p” and “h” sounds are actually pronounced, they shall be represented as such (For example, “uphold” shall remain spelled as formerly). This adjustment shall apply to all words other than proper names and components of titles of other men’s written works.

Rationally speaking, this reform can dispel considerable confusion. For example, what, in the status quo, can prevent a beginning English learner from inferring, given the inconsistent use of the “ph” combination, that “uphold” is pronounced as “uffold?” Or, if “uphold” is among the first words to which he is introduced, would this man, functioning under a healthy consistent use of the deductive method, not pronounce “philosophy” as “p’hilosop’hy?” This is not mere speculative fiction; having at one time learned English as a second language myself, I could not at first avoid slipping into my conversations an occasional “hafazard.”

Before further justifying this suggestion, it is necessary to define the purpose of language and recognize that its status quo is not ideally suited to such an aim. Three statements from Ayn Rand and Leonard Peikoff should serve to lay the groundwork for a thorough, logical, and scientific theory of proper linguistics. They shall further be mentioned as the Code Premise, the Integration Premise, and the Individualist Premise for swifter reference. It must be remembered however, that they are not axiomatic in themselves; they are the logical extrapolations of the objective metafysics and epistemology that Rand and Peikoff developed.

Premise I- “The Code Premise”

“Language is a code of visual-auditory symbols that serves the psycho-epistemological function of converting abstractions into concretes, or more precisely, the psycho-epistemological equivalent of concretes, into a manageable number of specific units.”

~ Ayn Rand, The Romantic Manifesto, p. 18

Premise II- “The Integration Premise"

“It is not true that words are necessary primarily for the sake of communication. Words are essential to the process of conceptualization and thus to all thought. They are as necessary in the privacy of a man’s mind as in any public forum: they are as necessary on a desert island as in society. The word constitutes the completion of the integration stage; it is the form in which the concept exists. Using the soul-body terminology, we may say that the word is the body, and the conscious perspective involved, the soul—and that the two form a unity which cannot be surrendered. A concept without a word is at best an [efemeral] resolve; a word without a concept is noise.”

~ Leonard Peikoff, Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, p. 79

Premise III- “The Individualist Premise”

“Language is not a ‘social creation,’ nor does its use make the mind a ‘social product.’ A language is a system of concepts, and concepts are a type of cognition. Every concept, like every conclusion, has to be formed by someone, then understood by others through a rational process, if it is to be of cognitive use to them. In the act of learning a language, if he is learning and not parroting, an individual is thinking; he is initiating the complex mental processes that make his ability to speak or write a personal attainment, not a social gift. Anything a man when goes on to discover while using the language is his achievement; it represents his creative faculty originating the next step of knowledge.

….

As long as an individual is sane, he can choose to question and judge, or not to do so; if he judges, he has the capacity to reject what he hears from others. It does not take genius or even education to discover that other people, with their countless clashes, contradictions, and reversals, are not omniscient. In particular, a man can recognize the arbitrary, even if he does not know the truth. He can recognize that ‘Accept it because we say so’ is no answer, even if he does not know the answer; and he can resolve to look for answers elsewhere and to keep on looking.”

~ Leonard Peikoff, Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, p. 199-200

Where orthografy is concerned, it follows from the Code Premise that, just as the words themselves must denote real, valid, comprehensible concepts, so must the representation of the word be in itself objectively fathomable. That is, each letter of the word should not be arbitrarily endowed with a fonetic parallel in every individual situation; it should not be “f” in one case and “ph” in the next. The function of language is to convert a colossal amount of concretes and abstractions into a manageable set of units. Language does not accomplish this by reducing the amount of units in question; after all, the individual concepts still exist and must be accounted for by an objective system. But language does alleviate the burden of memorizing a separate way in which each concept can be integrated into a sentence structure with other concepts. Rules concerning grammar, punctuation, necessary sentence components, and parts of speech allow for every concept to be categorized under a set of general principles whose memorization permits any newly learned or coined term, say, “Objectivism” to be employed in as coherent a manner as “cat” or “dog.” But the only reason why language can accomplish this expansion of available concepts is due to its systematization of an already gargantuan mass, so that every new case is no exception to already known principles. Yet in order for this framework to hold on the level of words, it must be supported on a more fundamental level, that of the characters of which the words consist.

To state that “ph” can be pronounced as “f” in most words and “p’h” in a few exceptions is the equivalent of proposing that “Objectivism” must be used as a noun in every sentence except three or four particular ones, where it takes the place of a verb. The rote memorization of these exceptions, though humanly possible in those cases where they are few and uncomplicated, undercuts the very purpose of an orthografic system, the integration of new concepts under a set of existing and universal principles. There is a definite fonetic parallel to the symbol “p” when it is expressed on its own, as there is for the symbol “h” (in most, though, unfortunately, not all cases; that situation will need to be addressed at a later time). What unreason is required to render unto their combination the fonetic properties of “f,” when a separate symbol representing such a sound already exists?

The root of the problem is a historical shortcoming and the blind worship of it by subsequent generations enamored with tradition. The initial Latin alfabet, as employed by the Romans, suffered from a plethora of orthografic misrepresentations. There was no letter “u,” and “Vesuvius” would have been written as “VESVVIVS” (as there was no concept of capital and small letters, either; that notion had been invented during the reign of Charlemagne, under the direction of the English scholar Alcuin, who served as the director of Charlemagne’s Palace School and the prime mover of the Carolingian Renaissance). Nor was there a letter “f,” despite the presence of a need to furnish the sound now represented by it, as the cultural and geografic neighbors of Rome, the Greeks, possessed an abundance of “f” sounds in their nomenclature and speech. The Greeks, of course, had their own alfabet, which accounted for this characteristic of their language, but Roman scholars, despite paying lip service to Greek art, filosofy, and architecture, neglected to adopt such a simple but ultra-convenient facet of Greek culture. The letter “f” entered the English language from the Germanic side of its origins, along with the letter “u,” yet must of our present scientific terminology has been absorbed, out of “respect for tradition,” from combinations of Latin transcriptions of Latin and Greek words, with scant effort made to revise their spelling in accordance with the conveniences since devised. I know of no Germanic words of the English language that employ “ph” in the place of “f.” In those words, the only time “ph” is encountered is in compound words, where the first word ends with “p” and the second begins with “h” (i.e. “up-hold” or “hap-hazard”). I am also not aware of Latin-derived words where “ph” is not read as “f.” Apart from each other, the languages may have been consistent structurally (though Latin would have been more awkward), but combined indiscriminately, they produce an orthografic glitch that needs to be corrected in favor of symbol economy.

Here we note a violation of the Individualist Premise. Rather than scientifically adjust the mechanisms of a language to meet the logical conclusions of their own minds, the scores of generations of second-handers had tabulated meticulously every incongruence, every foible, every quirky exception, provided that it had a history of at least two thousand years. Those worshippers of the past had been replaced by worshippers of the present mobs at the turn of the twentieth century. The “societal convention” theorists (the linguist specimens of collective subjectivism), though no longer explicitly avowing their veneration for all things Latin, have renounced and condemned as deviant behavior even the minuscule attempts at systematization performed by their predecessors. To them, flaws in the logic of a language are of no import; since all things are arbitrary and a product of unspoken social norms, the simple fact of their existence elevates them to the status of sacred cows. Those are the men who currently compile our dictionaries and serve as transmitters of “the social legacy” of the English language. Yet, as Peikoff brilliantly observes, language is neither social nor a legacy; it is objective and individually ameliorable. It is the technology of conceptualization. If a man’s car motor possessed a minor short circuit that would waste energy and gradually drain it of the ability to transport him to his chosen destination, would he not endeavor to fix the problem? Why are most men, then, hesitant to address an analogous waste of time, ink, and cognitive capacity in the realm of language?

By the Integration Premise, concepts and words are inextricably linked, and words are inseparably tied to their constituent components. If any part of this chain should possess a logical flaw, the reverberations are cognitively crippling. Any man who endeavors to champion objectivity and Reason will be undercut in this very plight by any subtle enough opponent, who can merely claim that the very language a rational man uses in not scientific, but rather mimicked from generations of mimickers. Defending the implications of absolute reality with arbitrary hash (on any level, orthografy included) is like defending individualism using Nietzsche’s Dionysian framework. It is a feeble support for the firm doctrine it seeks to uphold. Moreover, this inconsistency is devastating to an individual thinker’s mind. A man who knows coherence, order, and structure to be the means of attaining success will be undermined in his attempts to achieve it by the thing closest and most essential to him, which underlies all of his plans, deliberations, speech, and interactions. He will have to settle for a compromise between food and poison, in which he cannot prevail.

The consistent individualist will, in such a situation, resolve to take matters into his own hands and restructure elements of a language as suits the identity of the concepts he seeks to discover and present. Shakespeare was known for the invention of hundreds of words, a vast quantity of which have successfully endured for centuries. Benjamin Franklin, noting the horrendous chaos of spellings such as “plough” and “gaol” suggested the simpler and more sensible “plow” and “jail” instead. Interestingly enough, the rationality of the Founding Fathers suggested to them the employment of precisely the design I advocate in this essay. A browsing of the original (orthografically unchanged) text of the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution, one would encounter, in this respect, a consistency that spreads to even proper names (as in “Filadelfia”). Their innovation was lost as our country devolved over the next two centuries into a land dominated by an entrenched traditionalist/collective subjectivist orthodoxy. But, in fact, every linguistic accomplishment had to originate at some time within the mind of an exceptional individual (as no “collective consciousness” exists). The prominent authors, publishers, and scientists of a given era have often been the pioneers of new linguistic territory or the reformers of the old.

A man of generally rational persuasions may object to employing this adjustment due to the deliberate effort this would require of him initially to spell words that had formerly come to him in an instant. Rand had noted correctly that a skill employed frequently becomes automatized within the mind such that, in writing for example, focusing on a given concept becomes sufficient to recall the word and its spelling. A similar automatization takes place in the realm of value-premises, which become integrated into emotions. Yet, though it is an indispensable and potentially useful process, automatization does not guarantee logical correctness or even freedom from harm. Just as an improper emotion may arise from integration of a false filosofy or of eclectic hash, so may an improper internalization of any facet of language, from the contradictory use of words to the inconsistent employment of letters, result in time wasted and determination paralyzed. (Observe, for example, the widespread modern fenomenon of prefacing every statement with the word “like.” It is an automatized habitual reaction, difficult to break, but a colossal impediment to eloquence). The correction of any habit requires deliberate effort, but the rewards are worthwhile. When Blaise Pascal invented the first calculating machine, the clerks of France mounted a campaign to abolish it, fearing that their manual counting skills would be rendered obsolete. Once several of them familiarized themselves with the invention, however, and amplified their productivity a thousandfold, they ceased to whine and began to go about their work in an improved manner. The technology of matter and the technology of conceptualization, drawing on the same base of filosofical fundamentals, bring forth similar promises in this respect.

Since language is the province of an individual objectively employing his mind, it is not proper to permit expert boards, central committees, or even private conglomerates of tradition or poll-mired second-handers to unconditionally determine the nature of one’s written and oral expression. Any thinking sindividual who sees a superior alternative to the linguistic status quo should be entitled to propose a change or embrace a change put forth by another, should he find the arguments in favor consistent with the conclusions of his own mind. Of course, given the extensive history of mimicking in the English language, and the need to communicate a superior alternative, an immediate modification of every faulty aspect would necessitate a Herculean labor of internalization on the part of anyone wishing to progress in this regard. The improvement of the language should be gradual, with time windows given for the proliferation and assimilation of each individual reform. The orthografic consistency of “f” sounds should be a sufficient amelioration for at least the next three months. Afterward, further faults of the language should be pointed out and remedied.

I urge every man reading this essay to spread it to others and employ the change in his further written communication. A sufficiently large utilization of the new system might open even the bastions of dictionary publishing companies and educational institutions to the improvement.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; Philosophy; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: individualism; language; linguistics; objectivism; objectivity; pedantism; reason; reductionism; spelling
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G. Stolyarov II is a science fiction novelist, independent filosofical essayist, poet, amateur mathematician and composer, contributor to Enter Stage Right and SoloHQ, writer for Objective Medicine, and Editor-in-Chief of The Rational Argumentator. He can be contacted at gennadystolyarovii@yahoo.com.
1 posted on 01/22/2004 10:49:11 AM PST by G. Stolyarov II
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To: G. Stolyarov II
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2 posted on 01/22/2004 10:50:25 AM PST by G. Stolyarov II (http://www.geocities.com/rationalargumentator/masterindex.html)
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To: G. Stolyarov II
There is a problem with your orthographic suggestion. In the instant case of the word Philosophy, you ignore the usefulness of the "Ph" construct, which is a clear link to the origin of the word, from the Greek root "philos." Understanding the link is a key to understanding the word.

This is the central problem with suggestions for changes in our traditional English orthography. Too much meaning is lost to readers of the text by altering spellings to match some rational scheme based on pronunciation.

A rational orthography has been proposed many times. Each proposal has been abandoned, for the reasons I mention.
3 posted on 01/22/2004 10:59:55 AM PST by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: G. Stolyarov II; dighton; aculeus
In this essay I shall be implementing an orthografic innovation: at all instances in which the combination “ph” is part of a word and is pronounced as “f,” it shall be spelled as “f.”

Too late: Meihem In Ce Klasrum (1946)

4 posted on 01/22/2004 11:03:29 AM PST by general_re ("Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." - Bernard Berenson)
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To: G. Stolyarov II
An interesting fact about p and f that I learnt by reading a Steven J Gould book.

Grimms' Law (the same Grimms who collected the fairy tales) says that Latin "p"s become "f"s in Germanic languages (from which English is largely derived). For example "piscis" becomes "fish", "plenum" becomes "full", pes becomes "foot".

Maybe these "ph"s are a missing link in this evolutionary process and need to be weeded out as the nasty little throwbacks they are.

Or maybe they are part of the history of our language which itself contains part of the "soul" or concious perspective that Ayn Rand was talking about and removing them removes part of their meaning.
5 posted on 01/22/2004 11:04:59 AM PST by ScudEast
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To: G. Stolyarov II
sindividual There are all sorts of connotations around that word that go deep into theology, and politics.

I wish that I had the time to sit around and navel gaze and think about stuff like this.

6 posted on 01/22/2004 11:06:20 AM PST by NotQuiteCricket (~maybe I'm bitter, and maybe I'm not....)
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To: MineralMan
Your embrace of unconditional adherence to the Medieval rendition of the Latin transcription of the Greek origins of a given word is precisely the indiscriminate tradition-worship that I condemn as detrimental to the progress of linguistics.
7 posted on 01/22/2004 11:07:34 AM PST by G. Stolyarov II (http://www.geocities.com/rationalargumentator/masterindex.html)
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To: G. Stolyarov II
'R' is tot'ly supafluis: ask any New Englinda.

If we can get vidda all da "r" lettiz (oh yeah, the 'th', too) den we cood save a lotta papah.

Can I join yaw club?

8 posted on 01/22/2004 11:08:24 AM PST by dasboot (Ding! Fries...are....done!)
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To: G. Stolyarov II
"Your embrace of unconditional adherence to the Medieval rendition of the Latin transcription of the Greek origins of a given word is precisely the indiscriminate tradition-worship that I condemn as detrimental to the progress of linguistics."

How amusing. The progress of linguistics is measured by our understanding of the origins and usages of language. Since we omit the Greek letter needed for the ph construction, we use the latinate orthography.

It harms us not at all to know that the origin of the root for the word philosophy has that history. Indeed, it expands our awareness of language.

What you propose is reductionism, not rationalism. For me, it is very helpful to have those orthographic clues in our written language. For that matter, I'd be happy to add the theta back into our orthography. We could use the thorn instead, I suppose, but I'd prefer the Greek theta.
9 posted on 01/22/2004 11:14:31 AM PST by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: G. Stolyarov II
1. Henceforth FOOD and GOOD will be pronounced the same.
2. The plural of mouse is mice so the plural of house will be hice.
3. Since the plural of OX is OXEN, the plural of Klenex will be Kleenen, although some are trying to make a case for Klenesees.
4. The city in Indo China known as Phuket will be spelled the same and pronounced differently in order to disuade Japanese pedoFiles from vacationing there.

...additional rules may be added as well as reasonable exceptions at the creator's will.
10 posted on 01/22/2004 11:17:16 AM PST by Henchman (I Hench, therefore I am!)
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To: Henchman
a moose bit my sister once
11 posted on 01/22/2004 11:18:53 AM PST by dasboot (Ding! Fries...are....done!)
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To: dasboot
Will the plural of moose be meece, mice or mooses?
12 posted on 01/22/2004 11:20:27 AM PST by Henchman (I Hench, therefore I am!)
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To: MineralMan
Yah. This chap is phull of pheces.
13 posted on 01/22/2004 11:22:32 AM PST by SAJ
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To: ScudEast
"Or maybe they are part of the history of our language which itself contains part of the "soul" or concious perspective that Ayn Rand was talking about and removing them removes part of their meaning."

Bingo! The English language is a wonderful composite of all the languages that preceded it. In our written language, one can easily see the links to those other languages, which enriches our understanding.

We kill a pig, then eat pork. In doing so, we use two very different language origins to describe the animal and the meat from that animal. We may not think about that often, but it's great fun when we do.

Cow or Ox becomes beef. We refer to our livestock using words of anglo-saxon origin, then refer to dining on that livestock using words of french origin. How instructive that is to us, relating back almost 1000 years to let us know that our anglo-saxon forbears raised the animals as farmers, while the rich feasted on the meat, preferring the french words.

The reductionism proposed by these Randian neo-linguists is just silly. It will not succeed this time any more than it has succeeded in earlier attempts to revise English orthography.

Anti-intellectualism becomes pseudo-intellectualism. Feh!
14 posted on 01/22/2004 11:28:02 AM PST by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: G. Stolyarov II
Here we note a violation of the Individualist Premise.

Well, I must admit that this is the first time I've come across a person who says that "ph" is a tool of the looters, or whatever.

Of course, your trying to force us to use "f" instead of "ph" would qualify as the same sin.

If you want to be logically consistent, why not just ditch spelling rules altogether -- to do otherwise is to smash the individual.


15 posted on 01/22/2004 11:30:36 AM PST by r9etb
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To: MineralMan
Mr. MineralMan: It harms us not at all to know that the origin of the root for the word philosophy has that history. Indeed, it expands our awareness of language.

Mr. Stolyarov: Have you even read my article? If you did, you would be aware that the Greeks had an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT ALFABET which did not employ cumbersome dual combinations for single sounds. If we are to go by the Greek roots of "filosofy", we might as well designate the root to be "filos," since this does not alter its spelling in the original Greek. I see no need to blindly copy the blunders made by Roman scholars that did not esteem themselves highly enough to invent a Latin letter "f" when incorporating Greek roots into their language.

I see nothing wrong with studying the past; I do, however take issue with mimicking it at the cost of the autonomy of one's own thought. We can discuss the origins of words all we wish, but we need not live in the past; languages exist for OUR utility and their rationality should be not temporal, but rather present in the here and now for us to wield as unified structures.
16 posted on 01/22/2004 11:31:14 AM PST by G. Stolyarov II (http://www.geocities.com/rationalargumentator/masterindex.html)
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To: r9etb
Mr. r9etb: Of course, your trying to force us to use "f" instead of "ph" would qualify as the same sin.

Mr. Stolyarov: I am FORCING no one. By suggesting the employment of a voluntary reform within every INDIVIDUAL's orthografy, I do not utilize the coercive apparatus of the State in any manner. Do you call yourself an Objectivist? If you do, you should be ashamed for not having made the elementary distiction between force and persuasion.

Rules of spelling themselves should be freed from the coercive grasp of the government (by putting an end to public schools, for example), though governments should be free to establish linguistic policies pertaining to their OWN official documents, which may serve as vehicles of suggestion for linguistic change, but not forcible standards.
17 posted on 01/22/2004 11:35:54 AM PST by G. Stolyarov II (http://www.geocities.com/rationalargumentator/masterindex.html)
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To: G. Stolyarov II
"? If you did, you would be aware that the Greeks had an ENTIRELY DIFFERENT ALFABET which did not employ cumbersome dual combinations for single sounds."

Of course I know that. English, however, does not. Russian, another language with which I am familiar, also has an extended alphabet.

In English, we use two different spellings to indicate the language origin of words which contain the 'f' sound. When PH is used, one can rationally assume that the origin of the word is one of the classic languages. Using F generally indications that the origin is not from those languages.

You, sir, are not a linguist, nor an orthographer. You are covering ground which has been covered many times, and by folks with a stronger linguistic background.

While linguistics does treat of the political effects of language, you seem not to understand that at all. Instead, you make a specious argument based on the words of Ayn Rand.

Objectivism has nothing to do with orthography, and your sophomoric attempts to link the two are laughable.

I suggest you go back to composing derivative minuets.
18 posted on 01/22/2004 11:38:06 AM PST by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: G. Stolyarov II
I see nothing wrong with studying the past; I do, however take issue with mimicking it at the cost of the autonomy of one's own thought.

All properly spelled, I see. I guess that means you surrendered the autonomy of your own thought to do it, right?

My suggestion to you: find a different hobby horse.

19 posted on 01/22/2004 11:38:12 AM PST by r9etb
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To: MineralMan
Mr. MineralMan: Cow or Ox becomes beef. We refer to our livestock using words of anglo-saxon origin, then refer to dining on that livestock using words of french origin. How instructive that is to us, relating back almost 1000 years to let us know that our anglo-saxon forbears raised the animals as farmers, while the rich feasted on the meat, preferring the french words.

Mr. Stolyarov: I see once again unconditional reverence paid to "our Anglo-Saxon forebears," which, except for matters of ideology (which is individually processed) should have NO RELEVANCE WHATSOEVER to an individual's life or decisions.

My favorite poem, "The Westerner," by Badger Clark, illustrates the proper approach toward the past.

My fathers sleep on the Eastern plain,
And each one sleeps alone.
But I lean on no dead kin.
My name is mine, for fame or scorn,
And the world was made when I was born,
And the world is mine to win.
20 posted on 01/22/2004 11:38:55 AM PST by G. Stolyarov II (http://www.geocities.com/rationalargumentator/masterindex.html)
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To: r9etb
Mr. r9etb: All properly spelled, I see. I guess that means you surrendered the autonomy of your own thought to do it, right?

Mr. Stolyarov: That was so due to the lack of any "ph" combinations in the "proper spelling" of that frase. I emfasize the need for gradual linguistic change rather than instantaneous sweeping reform, for rational linguistic utilization needs to be automatized into a matter of habit lest it hinder the speed of a man's writing.

In three months' time, I shall suggest another adjustment.
21 posted on 01/22/2004 11:41:51 AM PST by G. Stolyarov II (http://www.geocities.com/rationalargumentator/masterindex.html)
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To: G. Stolyarov II; r9etb
Rules of spelling themselves should be freed from the coercive grasp of the government...

That's right - The Man and his dipthongs are holding you down.

Comes a point when you go so far right that you wind up on the left - this is exactly the kind of thing that they lap up at the deconstructionism conferences of the MLA...

22 posted on 01/22/2004 11:42:35 AM PST by general_re ("Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." - Bernard Berenson)
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To: r9etb
Ghoti spells fish if one pronounces gh as in enough, o as in women and ti as in motion.

From now on, spell fish GHOTI.

23 posted on 01/22/2004 11:43:06 AM PST by Petronski (I'm *NOT* always *CRANKY.*)
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To: G. Stolyarov II
Rules of spelling themselves should be freed from the coercive grasp of the government (by putting an end to public schools, for example), though governments should be free to establish linguistic policies pertaining to their OWN official documents, which may serve as vehicles of suggestion for linguistic change, but not forcible standards.

LOL! No, wait ... ROTFLMAO!!!!

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA!!!!!

(chortle)

You don't think, perhaps, that spelling conventions are helpful to those of us who prefer to understand written communication, and that perhaps spelling rules are not (heeeeee heheheheheeeee) a government plot.

I will also note that, outside of France (really!), I am unaware that there is ANY government involvement in the development of spelling rules.

Bwahahahahahahahahaaaaa!!! You're killin' me.

24 posted on 01/22/2004 11:43:47 AM PST by r9etb
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To: G. Stolyarov II
"It harms us not at all to know that the origin of the root for the word philosophy has that history. Indeed, it expands our awareness of language. "

Hmmm...yet you spell all of this in a non-rational orthography. Try it this way:

It harmz us not at al tu no thet thu origin ov thu rut for thu wurd filosofy haz that histuree. indeed, it ekspandz our awarnus ov langwaj.

There's a rational orthography for you. You choose not to use it, preferring normal English orthography, except for the singly phoneme you wish to alter.

Dilletantism is not the same as objectivism. Ayn Rand would be disappointed.
25 posted on 01/22/2004 11:45:54 AM PST by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: general_re

The Man and his dipthongs

26 posted on 01/22/2004 11:45:57 AM PST by r9etb
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To: r9etb
"Is that a consonant in your pocket, Mr. President? Or are you just happy to see me?"
27 posted on 01/22/2004 11:48:09 AM PST by general_re ("Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago." - Bernard Berenson)
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To: G. Stolyarov II
..."our Anglo-Saxon forebears," which, except for matters of ideology (which is individually processed) should have NO RELEVANCE WHATSOEVER to an individual's life or decisions.

That's all well and good, as far as barbarism goes, but if you think that your life or decisions are not determined by the past before you were born then you are in denial. Or maybe I am misunderstanding your point?
28 posted on 01/22/2004 11:49:34 AM PST by ScudEast
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To: MineralMan
Good comeback.
29 posted on 01/22/2004 11:49:52 AM PST by God is good (Till we meet in the golden city of the New Jerusalem, peace to my brothers and sisters.)
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To: MineralMan
In addition to denying the Greek roots, the phonetic (fonetic?) spelling would really only benefit phonetic readers and be really annoying to sight readers. It would drive me crazy and be very distracting.
30 posted on 01/22/2004 11:53:37 AM PST by Eva
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To: G. Stolyarov II
In three months' time, I shall suggest another adjustment.

Ahhhh, I see. You've got a Long Term Plan. Unfortunately for you, I've arranged for one of my totalitarian operatives to steal a copy of it, which I reproduce below:

Having chosen English as the preferred language in the EEC, the European Parliament has commissioned a feasibility study in ways of improving efficiency in communications between Government departments.

European officials have often pointed out the English spelling is unnecessarily difficult; for example: cough, plough, rough, through and thorough. What is clearly needed is a phased programme of changes to iron out these anomolies. The programme would, of course, be administered by a committee staff at top level by participating nations.

In the first year, for example, the committee would suggest using "s" instead of the soft "c." Sertainly, sivil servants in all sities would resieve this news with joy. Then the hard "c" could be replaced by "k" sinse both letters are pronounsed alike. Not only would this klear up konfusion in the minds of klerikal workers, but typewriters kould be made with one less letter.

There would be growing enthusiasm when in the sekond year, it would be announsed that the troublesome "ph" would henseforth be written "f." This would make words like "fotograf" twenty persent shorter in print.

In the third year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reash the stage where more komplikated shanges are possible.Governments would enkourage the removal of double leters whish have always been a deterent to akurate speling.

We would al agre that the horible mes of silent "e"s in the languag is disgrasful. Therefor we kould drop them and kontinu to read and writ as though nothing had hapend. By this tim it would be four years sins the skem began and peopl would be reseptive to steps sutsh as replasing "th" by "z." Perhaps zen ze funktion of "w" kould be taken on by "v," vitsh is, after al, half a "w." Shortly after zis, ze unesesary "o" kould be dropd from vords kontaining "ou." Similar arguments vud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters. Kontinuing zis proses yer after yer, ve vud eventuli hav a reli sensibl riten styl. After tventi yers zer vud be no mor trubls, difikultis and evrivun vud find it ezi tu understand ech ozer. Ze drems of ze Guvermnt vud finali have kum tru.


31 posted on 01/22/2004 11:54:05 AM PST by r9etb
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To: G. Stolyarov II
"My favorite poem, "The Westerner," by Badger Clark, illustrates the proper approach toward the past.

My fathers sleep on the Eastern plain,
And each one sleeps alone.
But I lean on no dead kin.
My name is mine, for fame or scorn,
And the world was made when I was born,
And the world is mine to win."

Proper? This is your conceit. It is one way to approach the past. It is not the only, nor the "proper" way to do so.

Your transparent attempt to impose your "proper" way is amusing. Had you any power, it would be frightening. Since you do not, I will continue to chuckle.

You'll find that Free Republic is not a forum full of Randian Objectivists. Your meanderings will not always meet with universal approval here, and you'll have to do better at justifying them than you have up to this point.

Again, I suggest you return to simple musical compositions. There is nothing to argue about in them.
32 posted on 01/22/2004 11:55:23 AM PST by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: G. Stolyarov II
So you want us to talk in ebonics?
33 posted on 01/22/2004 11:56:00 AM PST by God is good (Till we meet in the golden city of the New Jerusalem, peace to my brothers and sisters.)
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To: MineralMan
I don't agree with you, any one who has studied etymology, is dependent on the proper spelling to derrive the meaning of the word. There are so many words that I come across that I would have no idea what they meant if I did not recognize the Latin or Greek root.
34 posted on 01/22/2004 11:56:20 AM PST by Eva
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To: MineralMan
There is a problem with your orthographic suggestion. In the instant case of the word Philosophy, you ignore the usefulness of the "Ph" construct, which is a clear link to the origin of the word, from the Greek root "philos."

Under the new system, "Filosophy" would obviously have descended from the Greek root "filos."

But I guess if the King's English was good enough for Socrates, then we should keep the spelling as "philos."

35 posted on 01/22/2004 11:56:34 AM PST by xm177e2 (Stalinists, Maoists, Ba'athists, Pacifists: Why are they always on the same side?)
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To: MineralMan; r9etb
This is a very entertaining thread y'all have going here. I'd contribute but you two are doing such a fine job there's no need to hear my echo.
36 posted on 01/22/2004 11:59:07 AM PST by GulliverSwift (The problem with Clark isn't just that he's insane, it's also that he's a complete liar.)
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To: xm177e2
Under the new system, "Filosophy" would obviously have descended from the Greek root "filos."

And it would refer to the wisdom of eating things wrapped with delicious, thin, flaky Greek dough.

37 posted on 01/22/2004 12:02:06 PM PST by r9etb
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Colloquial ebonics and jive: Ersatz argot patois?
38 posted on 01/22/2004 12:07:11 PM PST by Consort
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To: G. Stolyarov II
This is not mere speculative fiction; having at one time learned English as a second language myself, I could not at first avoid slipping into my conversations an occasional “hafazard.”

Undoubtedly, English holds its pitfalls for non-native speakers. However, the language and its conventions are not in the control of any one person, and one should simply accept the quirks of the language for what they are. There is information conveyed in our spellings far beyond a mere "guide-to-pronunciation."

SD

39 posted on 01/22/2004 12:12:11 PM PST by SoothingDave
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To: SoothingDave
slipping into my conversations an occasional “hafazard.”

Well, this would certainly qualify as a hafazard theory....

40 posted on 01/22/2004 12:17:49 PM PST by r9etb
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To: r9etb
"Well, this would certainly qualify as a hafazard theory...."

I bow to your skills. I think your post makes an excellent end to this thread.

BTW, have you been to the link? Most amusing, indeed.

I've always wondered, though, why anyone who thought they had something serious to say would choose to place a website on geocities.
41 posted on 01/22/2004 12:23:08 PM PST by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: G. Stolyarov II
Well that's just PHAT.


42 posted on 01/22/2004 12:26:23 PM PST by Johnny Gage (What would Geronimo say if he jumped out of an airplane?)
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To: Johnny Gage
(Psssst. That dictionary only pretends to be a product of free enterprise. In reality, it's a nefarious government plot.)
43 posted on 01/22/2004 12:28:17 PM PST by r9etb
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To: G. Stolyarov II
...the Romans, suffered from a plethora of orthografic misrepresentations. ......Nor was there a letter “f,” despite the presence of a need to furnish the sound now represented by it, ....... The letter “f” entered the English language from the Germanic side of its origins,

Wrong.


Roman denarius with a reverse honoring the allegory of FELICITAS


Roman denarius with a reverse honoring the allegory of FIDES


Roman denarius with a reverse honoring the allegory of FORTVNA

44 posted on 01/22/2004 12:29:24 PM PST by Polybius
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To: Polybius
Oops. Another error exposed. How dare you!?! [grin]
45 posted on 01/22/2004 12:33:09 PM PST by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: G. Stolyarov II
I've had enough ghilosoghy to last me a lightime.
46 posted on 01/22/2004 12:34:14 PM PST by Old Professer
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To: MineralMan
And the world was made when I was born, And the world is mine to win.

And you reveal your true name to be Narcissus!

May God help you before you die. For you shall surely die.

47 posted on 01/22/2004 12:55:34 PM PST by possible
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To: possible
"And you reveal your true name to be Narcissus!

May God help you before you die. For you shall surely die."

That poem was a quote from a previous message. It in no way represents my philosophy. Please read messages more carefully.
48 posted on 01/22/2004 12:57:50 PM PST by MineralMan (godless atheist)
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To: G. Stolyarov II
objectively employing my mind, I pronounce this a load.
49 posted on 01/22/2004 1:01:35 PM PST by js1138
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To: r9etb
I am unaware that there is ANY government involvement in the development of spelling rules.

Theodore Roosevelt once tried to introduce a 'simplified spelling', and for a period it was used in government correspondence.

Even he couldn't get it to catch on.

50 posted on 01/22/2004 1:07:03 PM PST by Right Wing Professor
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