|Bort - 2015-11-22 |
So in a nutshell, English is good because it's phonetic but not so slavishly phonetic that local dialects call for localized spellings. I guess I can see it.
|SolRo - 2015-11-22 |
'English is the best language if you compare it to the hardest alphabet to learn, and I'm just going to ignore all the languages that actually are phonetic'
Yeah, all those languages. All those widely-spoken international languages that maintain a one-to-one correspondence between sound and writing system that holds true for all its regional variants.
Yeah, all those.
Why didn't he talk about one of those?
Wide distribution has nothing to do with the language, everything to do with the people speaking it spreading it (by force or otherwise)
You know how you'll sometimes encounter a passage from a novel written in 1932, and it's got a cringeworthy line like "Mr. Wong said ''me rikey shlimp flied lice"? That would be MANDATORY if we were fully phonetic.
I think Lindy's got a point that 100% phonetic would introduce problems, but as mostly-phonetic languages go, English is way too irregular to be a great model for what Lindy's talking about. German would be a better model, for example: much more consistent.
If you hear a word in German you can pretty much spell it, and if you can see it written you can pretty much pronounce it. There are exceptions, but not a lot.
English's strength is the versatility that results from stealing neat words from other languages, but this also results in strange spellings that don't follow any particular rules.
I've come to expect long, beardy justifications for why whatever categories lindybeige is in are superior to all those other categories that he's not in.
I enjoy some of the contortions German has to go through to make foreign sounds, for example "Dsch" for "J" (like "Dschungel" for "jungle"). And it has been scientifically proven that Germans simply cannot pronounce "squirrel"; they literally melt like in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" when they try.
|Anaxagoras - 2015-11-22 |
I like this guy a lot, but sometimes he says some really, really stupid things. I think that's part of his charm.
|jfcaron_ca - 2015-11-23 |
Chinese dictionaries are complicated, fine, but it's not as stupidly ineffective as he's saying here. There are actually multiple ways to organize them. By radical, is sort of what he mentions here, since the radical roughly determines the "kind" of thing it is. But you can also do it by number of strokes, and yeah, even phonetically.
His main point is "people complain that english pronunciation and spelling don't jive, but it's actually a feature and it is a good thing". Fine. Unfortunately, his use of chinese as a foil is flawed, so it undermines his argument.
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