Tuesday, September 9, 2008

English spelling | You write potato, I write ghoughpteighbteau | Economist.com

A pretty good article on English orthography and historical lexicology, with some interesting factoids... I wonder what they mean that the printing press was "initially staffed by non-English speakers"?

Makes you appreciate the rational and transparent rules for Russian:

English spelling: You write potato, I write ghoughpteighbteau

GHOTI and tchoghs may not immediately strike readers as staples of the British diet; and even those most enamoured of written English’s idiosyncrasies may wince at this tendentious rendering of “fish and chips”. Yet the spelling, easily derived from other words*, highlights the shortcomings of English orthography. This has long bamboozled foreigners and natives alike, and may underlie the national test results released on August 12th which revealed that almost a third of English 14-year-olds cannot read pr
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