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Illiteracy - it's the end of the world as we know it


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#52 Michaelangelica

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 07:28 AM

http://hypography.co...ight=Apocalypse


Firstly, American English is simpler than Standard English, used in most commonwealth countries still I presume. They also create no-end of jargon (made-up words)

Secondly, while your spelling is all over the place (typing error?), you make the point by example, that reading doesn't require correct spelling to be comprehended correctly.

Of course you must have been joking when you said this.

#53 paigetheoracle

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 12:37 PM

http://hypography.co...ight=Apocalypse



Of course you must have been joking when you said this.


What, that American English is simpler than Standard English?
That it is full of jargon?
That reading doesn't require exact spelling to be understood?
Or that Erlyriser made some spelling mistakes?

#54 Michaelangelica

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 05:06 AM

What, that American English is simpler than Standard English?

what is "Standard English" when it is at home?

That it is full of jargon?

What is the subject of your verb?

That reading doesn't require exact spelling to be understood?

It certainly does not help

Or that Erlyriser made some spelling mistakes?

I didn't notice.

#55 paigetheoracle

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Posted 13 March 2008 - 07:07 AM

what is "Standard English" when it is at home?

What is the subject of your verb?

It certainly does not help

I didn't notice.


Standard English is what occurs in something like The Oxford English Dictionary (English as originally spoken in England or that developed from there as opposed to the colonies)

Jargon (The speech of which I wrote!)

No but it has to go beyond a certain point, just as speech does, where it becomes incomprehensible and that is the touchstone.

ErlyRiser rushed to get his ideas down on paper, which meant he made some typographical errors as do I on occassion, which is why I usually go back and check what I've written but should I be below par, then my awareness is such that I miss my own mistakes.

Hope this answers your questions, to some degree: By the way I am below par having a migraine (thankfully not to serious) at this very point in time.

#56 CraigD

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Posted 14 March 2008 - 10:45 PM

Firstly, American English is simpler than Standard English, used in most commonwealth countries still I presume. They also create no-end of jargon (made-up words)

Can you quantify and substantiate this claim, paige? :shade:

I think a reasonable definition of a “simpler” colloquy of a language is that it has a smaller diction and number of frequently used syntaxes. Though I’ve no supporting data on hand, my impression from having spent time both in the UK and US is that these characteristics correlate more with educational level than nationality – that is, highly educated Americans have larger dictions and use more syntaxes than both less educated British and less educated Americans, not that highly educated British have more than equally educated Americans, or less educated British more than equally uneducated Americans.

Secondly, while your spelling is all over the place (typing error?), you make the point by example, that reading doesn't require correct spelling to be comprehended correctly.

It’s commonly said that most people can understand most English text from only the first and last letter of each word. I agree.

I just tried processing some text this way, and noticed an apparent interesting corollary – some kinds of text, which might be roughly described as “advanced”, is not easy to understand when processed this way.

A few examples:
  • From a children’s reading textbook:

    D--k s--d, "S-e w--t M--e a-d I h--e.
    T--s is P--f w--h me.
    T--t is S--t w--h M--e."

    M--e s--d, "C--e h--e, g---s.
    S-e S--t a-d P--f in a l----e p--y."

    "Oh, i l--e p---s," s--d S---y,
    "We do, t-o," s--d P-m a-d P---y.

  • From a recent lead news article, http://www.nytimes.c...s/15wright.html, processes to:

    In t-e h-----l of y---s S-----r B----k O---a h-s s---t in t-e n------l s-------t, h-s s----e t----d h-s p----r h-s g--e f--m g-----g p----e to g-----g d------e to - as of F----y - s----g c-------m.

    On F----y, Mr. O---a c----d a g--b b-g of s--------s by h-s l------e m------r, t-e R-v. J------h A. W----t Jr., "i----------y a-d a-------g."

    "I r----t o------t t-e s--------s by R-v. W----t t--t a-e at i---e," he w---e in a c------n s-------t t--t w-s h-s s-------t in a s----s of p----c d--------s of h-s p----r's v---s o--r t-e p--t y--r.

  • From the first part of this post:

    C-n y-u q------y a-d s----------e t--s c---m, p---e? :QuestionM

    I t---k a r--------e d--------n of a "s-----r" c------y of a l------e is t--t it h-s a s-----r d-----n a-d n----r of f--------y u--d s------s. T----h I've no s--------g d--a on h--d, my i--------n f--m h----g s---t t--e b--h in t-e UK a-d US is t--t t---e c-------------s c-------e m--e w--h e---------l l---l t--n n---------y - t--t is, h----y e------d A-------s h--e l----r d------s a-d u-e m--e s------s t--n b--h l--s e------d B-----h a-d l--s e------d A-------s, n-t t--t h----y e------d B-----h h--e m--e t--n e-----y e------d A-------s, or l--s e------d B-----h m--e t--n e-----y u--------d A-------s.



#57 paigetheoracle

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Posted 15 March 2008 - 11:09 AM

Can you quantify and substantiate this claim, paige? :shade:

I think a reasonable definition of a “simpler” colloquy of a language is that it has a smaller diction and number of frequently used syntaxes. Though I’ve no supporting data on hand, my impression from having spent time both in the UK and US is that these characteristics correlate more with educational level than nationality – that is, highly educated Americans have larger dictions and use more syntaxes than both less educated British and less educated Americans, not that highly educated British have more than equally educated Americans, or less educated British more than equally uneducated Americans.It’s commonly said that most people can understand most English text from only the first and last letter of each word. I agree.

I just tried processing some text this way, and noticed an apparent interesting corollary – some kinds of text, which might be roughly described as “advanced”, is not easy to understand when processed this way.

A few examples:

  • From a children’s reading textbook:

    D--k s--d, "S-e w--t M--e a-d I h--e.
    T--s is P--f w--h me.
    T--t is S--t w--h M--e."

    M--e s--d, "C--e h--e, g---s.
    S-e S--t a-d P--f in a l----e p--y."

    "Oh, i l--e p---s," s--d S---y,
    "We do, t-o," s--d P-m a-d P---y.

  • From a recent lead news article, http://www.nytimes.c...s/15wright.html, processes to:

    In t-e h-----l of y---s S-----r B----k O---a h-s s---t in t-e n------l s-------t, h-s s----e t----d h-s p----r h-s g--e f--m g-----g p----e to g-----g d------e to - as of F----y - s----g c-------m.

    On F----y, Mr. O---a c----d a g--b b-g of s--------s by h-s l------e m------r, t-e R-v. J------h A. W----t Jr., "i----------y a-d a-------g."

    "I r----t o------t t-e s--------s by R-v. W----t t--t a-e at i---e," he w---e in a c------n s-------t t--t w-s h-s s-------t in a s----s of p----c d--------s of h-s p----r's v---s o--r t-e p--t y--r.

  • From the first part of this post:

    C-n y-u q------y a-d s----------e t--s c---m, p---e? :QuestionM

    I t---k a r--------e d--------n of a "s-----r" c------y of a l------e is t--t it h-s a s-----r d-----n a-d n----r of f--------y u--d s------s. T----h I've no s--------g d--a on h--d, my i--------n f--m h----g s---t t--e b--h in t-e UK a-d US is t--t t---e c-------------s c-------e m--e w--h e---------l l---l t--n n---------y - t--t is, h----y e------d A-------s h--e l----r d------s a-d u-e m--e s------s t--n b--h l--s e------d B-----h a-d l--s e------d A-------s, n-t t--t h----y e------d B-----h h--e m--e t--n e-----y e------d A-------s, or l--s e------d B-----h m--e t--n e-----y u--------d A-------s.


Hell, that is interesting and I do remember hearing something similar once before plus doing a course on shorthand that missed out all the vowels and was still easily comprehensible.

As for the American English point - I will have to get back to you on that! I heard a good one on the TV the other day (jargon) but my memory isn't what it used to be, so I'll have to look out for it again or something similar. I was thinking mostly of spelling and missing vowels or consonants but again I'll have to research that (No Websters to hand)

#58 paigetheoracle

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 11:40 AM

Can you quantify and substantiate this claim, paige? :sherlock:


Here we go as a few examples (Spell-check shows up differences because it is American-English software, so spelling errors are not the only thing that come up for us Brits!).

Color (Colour)
Defense (Defence)
Center (Centre)
Traveler(Traveller)
Behavior (Behaviour)
Checkered (Chequered)

and as an encore

Weatherize (What does that mean?)
Guesstimate (Now accepted and understood)
Infomercial (Now accepted and understood)
Probably more if I look them up or overhear them on TV:evil:

#59 CraigD

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Posted 16 March 2008 - 06:36 PM

Firstly, American English is simpler than Standard English, used in most commonwealth countries still I presume. They also create no-end of jargon (made-up words)

Can you quantify and substantiate this claim, paige? :evil:

Here we go as a few examples (Spell-check shows up differences because it is American-English software, so spelling errors are not the only thing that come up for us Brits!).

Color (Colour)

There clearly are regional variations in usual spelling – not only between the US and UK, but for Ireland, and, on my WinXP OS, 11 other “regionalizations” of English. To show that one is “simpler”, than another, I believe it’s necessary to show that it has fewer common words or syntaxes (word orders), not just different spellings.

Guesstimate (Now accepted and understood)
Infomercial (Now accepted and understood)

You might call these “contraction neologisms”. I’m unaware of any evidence that any English speaking community invents them at a greater of lesser rate than any other – though I suspect that the prevalence of technologies such as Television and Internet, which varies from nation to nation and region to region, influences it.

This is what I’m calling for as support of the claim that American English is simpler than “Standard” English.

Weatherize (What does that mean?)

It means to make a structure, usually a dwelling, more resistant to inclement weather, usually cold.

The term was popular at least as long ago as the 1960s. I suspect it is decreasing in popularity, because fewer houses require it. Changes in living patterns, property values, population and distribution of wealth have had an appreciable impact on the practice. For example, in the 1950s in the American Northeast, many seasonal dwellings – “summer cottages” were purchased from their original owners by new home-buyers for year-round use. A single winter in a single-layer clapboard cottage in New England is usually all it takes to convince its residents of the value of weatherization!

#60 paigetheoracle

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Posted 17 March 2008 - 05:37 AM

There clearly are regional variations in usual spelling – not only between the US and UK, but for Ireland, and, on my WinXP OS, 11 other “regionalizations” of English. To show that one is “simpler”, than another, I believe it’s necessary to show that it has fewer common words or syntaxes (word orders), not just different spellings.You might call these “contraction neologisms”. I’m unaware of any evidence that any English speaking community invents them at a greater of lesser rate than any other – though I suspect that the prevalence of technologies such as Television and Internet, which varies from nation to nation and region to region, influences it.

(1) Talking of spell-checker, it has highlighted "regionalizations" - is this because it is a neologism, just created by you?

This is what I’m calling for as support of the claim that American English is simpler than “Standard” English.It means to make a structure, usually a dwelling, more resistant to inclement weather, usually cold.

(2) It's not just the dropping of odd letters, colour being the most obvious but also the grammatical endings or neologisms you mention (and fair enough everyone invents - even I do, if we need to create a meaning that isn't in existence at the time).

The term was popular at least as long ago as the 1960s. I suspect it is decreasing in popularity, because fewer houses require it. Changes in living patterns, property values, population and distribution of wealth have had an appreciable impact on the practice. For example, in the 1950s in the American Northeast, many seasonal dwellings – “summer cottages” were purchased from their original owners by new home-buyers for year-round use. A single winter in a single-layer clapboard cottage in New England is usually all it takes to convince its residents of the value of weatherization!


(3) If you can't see it - you can't see it and to be honest it isn't as big an area as most Englishmen make out but how can we look down on your colonials, if we don't see you as being inferior in some way? (Not that we do of course but we'll get you back for The Boston Tea Party, eventually - even if it's to turn you lot back into tea drinkers!).

(4) A lot of it is snobbery - for instance French 'centre' or Latin 'hypoglycaemia and of course apart from colour, my favourite is favorite!:hihi:

#61 paigetheoracle

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 03:59 AM

To show that one is “simpler”, than another, I believe it’s necessary to show that it has fewer common words or syntaxes (word orders), not just different spellings.You might call these “contraction neologisms”. I’m unaware of any evidence that any English speaking community invents them at a greater of lesser rate than any other – though I suspect that the prevalence of technologies such as Television and Internet, which varies from nation to nation and region to region, influences it.


I believe America certainly seems to create more but proving it - that's the rub! I believe England has more complex ideas (and maybe Europe) but that is because it has a longer history and had more time to build on previous ideas and do so in depth. This site doesn't seem 'so' bad though!

The way I look at it, the simple complicate things to appear clever and the intelligent simplify things to 'be' clever, whether it's a youthful civilization or a young individual. Think of Americas admiration of Britain for this reason and Britains love of the Yanks because of their inventiveness.

With regards to spelling - it's all arbitary anyway.

#62 paigetheoracle

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Posted 18 March 2008 - 06:18 AM

Do you know why I originally posted this thread? Well I'll tell you. It's because every civilization grows from community and collapses back into it. By this I mean it starts off slow and sedate, then starts to get excited by its own ideas. Eventually it gets so fast and prosperous that cracks appear in its infrastructure and it collapses in a fireball of selfish, self interest. With nothing to hold it together, it falls back into a more compact form - slower but more cohesive. As I said primitive societies have no need of money or writing because the village is all and most trade is within the community and education practical (hunting, fishing, hut building).

We're on the brink of an economic crises and this is because people are bored with materialism, even if they are not consciously aware of it (Overexposure to anything creates a whiteout effect or (s)no(w) blindness). When this occurs, community is totally lost and nostalgia sets in. Money is not enough. Financial advantage over others doesn't satisfy. Travel just becomes movement, not adventure. It's like a game of Hide and Seek - the fun is in chasing/ being chased. When nobody finds you, you give up and go looking for them instead - in this case your own soul or sole purpose in life. Change for the worse becomes better than no change at all because life is movement and if you're stuck, you feel dead or dead bored.

#63 paigetheoracle

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Posted 21 March 2008 - 12:58 PM

Depression creates immobility, whether it's financial or emotional because you don't have the impetus to move (belief in yourself/ hope). This creates community rather than exploration and separation. This is why in this thread or elsewhere (prediction post) that I said world travel will be the first thing to go because of an economic collapse.

#64 paigetheoracle

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Posted 04 April 2008 - 09:32 AM

The way I see it, we have a choice as individuals or societies, to stay and build (solid, crude, long lasting edifices) or to cut and run (move and destroy footholds, rapidly - producing shallow, short lived societies or individual lives). This is why I believe illiteracy is the end of civilization - we are no longer settlers but nomads on the planet, drifting away from all we've built and could build, had we the presence to stay.

#65 Tolouse

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 08:13 AM

actually, it has been told that spelling isn't as important as getting your idea across

i mean, you can have someone not be able to spell to tell you the density in a neutron particle to the .000000001th place

at least the idea gets across, which is the primary goal


i wouldnt thro out a gud theory jus because of speling thogh




(and i probably got the numbering wrong, but the idea remains intact)

#66 Michaelangelica

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 10:32 AM

actually, it has been told that spelling isn't as important as getting your idea across

Spelling and grammar are communication conventions that enhance the exchange of ideas.
Many would not be able to read your post, with your own spelling, and therefore communication is hindered.

#67 Tolouse

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Posted 05 April 2008 - 11:26 AM

but isn't it more like this:




Posted Image


it does make sense though
  • modest likes this

#68 Michaelangelica

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Posted 07 April 2008 - 07:44 AM

Tolouse
I have no trouble reading that. Probably because I am illiterate, dyslectic, can't spell and don't really look at words individually. I read for sense, mostly. Not everyone does.
I know highly skilled word-smiths, journalists and especially editors who would not know what the hell you are talking about and would be appalled by your suggestion.

Another one for your collection


I have a "spell-checker", It came with my Pc.
It plane ley Marx four my revue misstates I cannot sea.
I've run this poem threw it.
I'm sure your please to no It's letter perfect in its weigh My checker tolled me sew.

:hyper: