phonics experts -come and settle an argument

(380 Posts)
sausagesandwich34 Wed 23-Jan-13 21:43:54

scone it's an oldy but a goody!

pronounced to rhyme with cone or gone?

does the magic 'e' come into play?

does the magic 'e' even exist anymore?

simpson Wed 23-Jan-13 21:47:04

They don't teach the magic e anymore ( although my DD taught herself that way, thanks alphablocks!!)

Can't answer the rest of your question really as I am not a teacher.

I would pronounce it to rhyme with cone and then use the o/e sound...

learnandsay Wed 23-Jan-13 21:49:34

Oh, the better sort wouldn't dream of rhyming with cone! Ooooooh.

simpson Wed 23-Jan-13 21:50:10

grin

MushroomSoup Wed 23-Jan-13 21:55:30

scone as in cone! Magic e is actually a 'split digraph'

A digraph is 2 letters making a new sound, like 'sh' and 'oo'. The split digraph has a letter in the middle. So effectively, o-e says 'oh'.
(There are always bloody exceptions though!)

mrz Wed 23-Jan-13 21:55:45

It doesn't matter ...how you pronounce it depends on your dialect so either is correct.

Wigeon Wed 23-Jan-13 21:58:00

Er, yes, surely this isn't a phonics question, as mrz says? Otherwise you are going to get into

bath / baarth
tomatoes / tomaytoes
fun / foon

which are all to do with regional accents, not phonics.

Wigeon Wed 23-Jan-13 21:58:55

Although I am sure that the phonically correct way is "skon" not "s-cone" grin

HTH grin

mrz Wed 23-Jan-13 22:01:10

No it isn't a phonics question Wigeon

BooksandaCuppa Wed 23-Jan-13 22:04:14

Accent/region
issue, definitely (although I think really posh and really - erm - not posh people rhyme with gone and all of us in the middle rhyme with cone!)

sausagesandwich34 Wed 23-Jan-13 22:04:33

I've heard it's a dialect/class thing

when I was at school there was a mix of both pronunciations -surely we would have all said it the same?

I was just wondering if there was a 'correct' way to say it grin

and it's definitely s-cone wigeon

maizieD Wed 23-Jan-13 22:32:57

If you say 'skon', the graphemes are 's' 'c' 'o' 'ne'. If you favour 'scoan' then the 'o-e' is a split digraph. That's the only 'phonics' involved! How you actually say it is a matter of choice.

Being a mixed up Southerner living in the North I personally use both grin

I always pronounced it as sconn, as in The Fastest Cake In The World (s'gone) sorry

Missbopeep Wed 23-Jan-13 23:07:22

scone is not phonically regular. it falls into the same categry as gone, come, done, and others.

it's pronunciaiton is more to do with where you live and your class shock

IMO many people who want to appear posh- Hyancinth Bucket types- say " scone " to rhyme with dome, whereas the correct way is to rhyme it with gone. The Oxford English Dictionary says it rhymes with "gone" and that's the only way I have ever said it.

learnandsay Wed 23-Jan-13 23:15:07

Hyancinth Bucket is a comedy character. Surely the whole point of comedy is to illustrate what should not be done.

maizieD Wed 23-Jan-13 23:16:00

it's pronunciaiton is more to do with where you live and your class

Does that really matter in this day and age? hmm

(BTW. 'its' is a possessive pronoun, like 'his' and 'hers' and doesn't need an apostrophe)

learnandsay Wed 23-Jan-13 23:19:18

That depends on whether it is being used as it-is or it(s)

Mashabell Thu 24-Jan-13 07:32:03

Magic e does still exist. It is used in several thousand words like (like, bike, make, take, broke, stroke, duke, puke, used) and 86 words with e-e (eke, even, here), but the new name for it is 'split digraphs'.

'Magic e' does not cover all of it, because it's simply the '*open*, long' - '*closed*, short' vowel spelling method. The second vowel does not have to be e:
halo, stylus, solo, tubular, hero -compare: hallowed, syllable, college, tubby - elation, notion, confusion.

It's a neat system, or would be if it was used consistently.
Unfortunately, several hundred words have redundant -e endings:
are, have, give, live, gone, imagine, promise
(cf. care, save, drive, bone, define, surprise)
and nearly 400 common words don't double the consonant after short, stressed vowels:
very (merry), salad (ballad), copy (poppy)... ignition (mission).

Chaucer (who died in 1400) used this system very consistently. It was messed up mainly by 16th century printers.
Firstly, by the foreign printers of the first English bibles (the first mass-produced English book) who spoke no English, because in England this was illegal until 1539.
Secondly, because early printers (1476 onwards) were paid by the line, they were fond of making words longer (olde, worlde, shoppe, inne, itte, hadde, mennie, fissche).

Additionally, Sam Johnson had far more respect for Latin than English. In his dictionary of 1755 he therefore removed doubled letters from many words of Latin origin which earlier had been spelt with them (e.g. Lattine, pittie, cittie, verray...).

Most redundant -e endings were dropped in the 17th century. Some prominent teachers/intellectuals (Mulcaster, Hart, Bullokar, Smith) had started to talk and write books about it near the end of 16th C, but it did not really take off until 1642-9, when the pampleteers of the English Civil War wanted to squeeze more propaganda onto a single page.
Sadly they got rid of some useful ones too (most, poste, hoste - cf. haste, paste, chaste), while leaving many useless ones (have, give, gone,...).

(Here endeth your lesson on the history of English spelling for today. It's one of my favourite subjects, and I have been studying it now for nearly 15 years.)

PS
If people gave themselves permission to use the 'long, open' - 'closed, short' English vowel spelling system consistently, instead erratically, as enshrined in dictionaries, learning to read and write the language would become vastly easier.
Masha Bell

Mashabell Thu 24-Jan-13 07:39:11

PPS It was the printing of English bibles which was illegal in England until Henry VIII's edict of 1539 - not speaking English.
English began to assert itself as the official language of England again, instead of French, from roughly 1350 onwards.

learnandsay Thu 24-Jan-13 07:40:46

masha, what has that got to do with how you say scone?

Missbopeep Thu 24-Jan-13 07:43:20

Yes class is alive and well even today MaizieD.

As for its and it's I am fully aware of how to use- been teaching it correctly for over 30 years. Look at the timing of my post- was gone 11pm after a long day at the chalk face. It was a typo.

Anyone wanting to check on pronunciaiton should check in the OED.

learnandsay Thu 24-Jan-13 07:51:31

missbo, typos are not allowed. Mumsnet is a place where people come to argue for years about nothing at all and nothing is ever allowed or forgiven. And all arguments must ultimately revert to definitive proof from the Stone Age in order to be settled.

RustyBear Thu 24-Jan-13 07:53:41

Learnandsay - it was related to the statement made earlier that magic e no longer exists.

Luckily Mumsnet isn't one of those forums that insists every post is strictly relevant to the original topic - the digressions on Mumsnet are one of the things that make it what it is. I found it a very interesting post, Mashabell.

simpson Thu 24-Jan-13 08:19:06

The magic e does exist (alphablocks on TV) it is just not used in the classroom anymore and has been replaced by a/e, o/e, I/e etc etc....

Mashabell Thu 24-Jan-13 10:07:46

masha, what has that got to do with how you say scone?

When the spelling is no reliable guide to pronunciation (bone, done, gone...), pronunciation sometimess takes peculiar turns, as with 'scon'/'scone'.
Ditto with 'fat, father' ...'bath, rather', and UK/US differences like 'leever/levver' for lever and 'lesure/leesure' for leisure.

The OP also asked

does the magic 'e' come into play?

does the magic 'e' even exist anymore?

Mashabell Thu 24-Jan-13 10:09:30

And thank u, Rustybear
for saying
I found it a very interesting post

mrz Thu 24-Jan-13 17:23:36

Mashabell Thu 24-Jan-13 07:32:03

Magic e does still exist. It is used in several thousand words like (like, bike, make, take, broke, stroke, duke, puke, used) and 86 words with e-e (eke, even, here), but the new name for it is 'split digraphs'.

Sorry to tell you masha but e isn't really magic shock ... and the toothfairy and Santa aren't real either.
The letter <e> is half of a pair of letters that represent a single sound it just so happens there is another sound in the middle.

maizieD Thu 24-Jan-13 17:27:22

Anyone wanting to check on pronunciaiton should check in the OED.

Want to check on spelling while you're about it? I thought it was a typo the first time...

Class may be alive and well but we don't all have to join in that silly game, do we?

mrz Thu 24-Jan-13 17:29:47

Anyone wanting to check on pronunciaiton should check in the OED.

The Oxford online version says

There are two possible pronunciations of the word scone: the first rhymes with gone and the second rhymes with tone.

learnandsay Thu 24-Jan-13 17:30:04

Why so much angst about whether or not any of them exist? If it works for you then use it. It's a free country.

Missbopeep Thu 24-Jan-13 17:31:32

oh FGS- maizieD surely you with all your knowledge of English can work out that the transposed "i" in pronunciation is a typo? I'm a blinking teacher and published author- I know how to spell but I don't bother too much with typos when on forums.

Go need to get a life dear, if you want to nit pick so much here.

Missbopeep Thu 24-Jan-13 17:34:16

mrz- maybe that is a more recent entry online? I think I'd prefer to stick with print version for something as important as the OED. I suspect that they have included both versions to cover the regional/class variations but IME people who rhyme it with bone are trying to be posh.

maizieD Thu 24-Jan-13 17:38:46

There's no angst about it on my part, lands. I happily said that I use both versions as the mood takes me. It was silly comments about 'class' that surprised me shock

maizieD Thu 24-Jan-13 17:40:13

I know how to spell but I don't bother too much with typos when on forums.

That's what they all say, dear...

Thewhingingdefective Thu 24-Jan-13 17:45:39

You say scone, I say sconesmile

Mashabell Thu 24-Jan-13 17:47:17

Mrz
"e isn't really magic ...
The letter <e> is half of a pair of letters that represent a single sound it just so happens there is another sound in the middle."
I did say that teachers now talk about 'split digraphs' rather than 'magic e'.

Since u seem to question what I know about it (as u do about everything i say), I shall explain the use of 'magic e' more fully.

English has a unique and rather complex system for showing whether
the vowels a, i, o, u (and, to a lesser extent e) are long or short, as in:
flat, flatten – inflate; hem, hemmed – theme;
hid, hidden – hide; dot, dotty – dote; tub, tubby – tube.

When the vowels a, e, i, o and u are followed by just one consonant (or several consonants and a vowel), they are 'closed' and are supposed to have a short sound, as in:
at, pet, pin, dot, bun
actor, tender, hinder, doctor, bunting.
If a consonant after the letters a, e, i, o and u is followed by another vowel, they are supposed to be ‘open’ and long, as in:
hale, halo; peter, period; fine, final; sole, solo;
tube, tubular'.
If a stressed vowel before a consonant and another vowel is to stay short, it is supposed to be followed by a doubled consonant:
attitude, petty, pinnacle, dotty, bunny.
Hence:
cut + er = cutter: cute + er = cuter.
Several thousand English words conform to this system.

Unfortunately, there are also hundreds of words which break the ‘open and shut’ rule in five different ways.

1. Nearly 400 words of more than one syllable break the doubling rule by
failing to double a consonant after a short, stressed vowel
(habit, very, city, body, study) .

2. Another 158 words have doubled consonants which are
unrelated to keeping a stressed vowel short
(accommodation, hello, immense, occur, hurrah).

3. Several hundred words with short vowels have a
misleading, surplus –e:
have, seven, gone – cf. save, even, bone.

4. Nearly 200 words have
irregular spellings for the short vowels e, i and u
(bread, pretty, touch),
sometimes combined with missing doubled consonants as well
(many, women; money).

5.The ‘open’ vowel method is disobeyed by
87 words for long a (made - paid; make - break),
79 for long i (while - whilst, mime - climb)
100 for long o (mole – bowl, roll, soul)
and
the ‘e-e’ spelling is used in just 86 words
and different ones in 366 (eke – seek, speak, shriek).

Any questions?

Missbopeep Thu 24-Jan-13 17:47:21

Whatever Maizie.

If you are looking for a fight Maizie look somewhere else. You seem to be trying to provoke me. I won't play because I have better things to do. I don't need to defend myself or explain myself to you.

Missbopeep Thu 24-Jan-13 17:49:13

Masha- have you thought about writing a book on this as you spend a huge amount of time "educating" people- maybe you could actually make it pay?

learnandsay Thu 24-Jan-13 17:49:51

She has already written one.

Euphemia Thu 24-Jan-13 17:58:20

Good lord, does anyone else feel their heart sink into their wellies when Masha comes on?

learnandsay Thu 24-Jan-13 18:01:01

Euphemia, that's unfair. It's a public forum. Masha is as entitled as everyone else to post. If you don't like her posts then don't read them. There is no shortage of others to read.

mrz Thu 24-Jan-13 18:01:11

I'm taking anti allergy medication Euphemia grin

Masha is in fact the author of a number of books (4 of which are available on Amazon) please buy then she will stop posting her lists!

(that wasn't a serious request)

Euphemia Thu 24-Jan-13 18:07:38

Fair point, learnandsay, and believe me I don't read her posts after the first time!

I just think "Oh here we go again," and my heart sinks. Top marks to her for continuing to try to persuade us that wholesale spelling reform is what we need to cure illiteracy!

Missbopeep Thu 24-Jan-13 18:15:22

well we need to know her name first to buy them.

learnandsay Thu 24-Jan-13 18:16:48

Masha Bell

mrz Thu 24-Jan-13 18:18:17
Houseworkprocrastinator Thu 24-Jan-13 22:15:04

i would say scone to rhyme with gone... but i would have though if you showed a child who had been learning all the rules and they have never heard the word before they would probably say it the other way?

maizieD Thu 24-Jan-13 22:22:37

i would say scone to rhyme with gone... but i would have though if you showed a child who had been learning all the rules and they have never heard the word before they would probably say it the other way?

I think you're possibly correct because in 'learning the rules' a child will probably have been taught about 'probabilities' and which 'sound' to try first as being the most likely.

learnandsay Thu 24-Jan-13 22:33:15

But in this case both are possible. It's not a question of which is correct. It's a question of which do you approve of. I'm not sure that phonics helps in that case.

mrz Fri 25-Jan-13 06:42:49

It isn't even a case of approval more of a case of what you hear others in your family and wider community say ...it's how children learn language.

rollmopses Fri 25-Jan-13 08:26:42

Scon(e) as in done.

learnandsay Fri 25-Jan-13 08:44:51

Children learn language in several ways. One is hearing people speak but another is being told what is correct and what isn't. Not everybody that children come into contact with speaks in the same way. Someone said fast to my daughter yesterday with a raised and elongated a in its middle. And she explained to me that this is not the way that we speak.

Missbopeep Fri 25-Jan-13 08:51:45

Scon(e) as in done. shock

that means you say " scun" to rhyme with pun.

Mashabell Fri 25-Jan-13 11:44:26

Misbopeep
Masha- have you thought about writing a book on this as you spend a huge amount of time "educating" people- maybe you could actually make it pay?
I have, as Mrz has pointed out. (I just hope that her doing so won't get banned from this forum.)

Foolish though this may seem, I am much more concerned about 'educating' than making money. I first became annoyed and pre-occupied by the inconsistencies of English spelling when I first started to learn English at the age of 14, but it wasn't until my premature retirement from teaching (mostly English and modern languages in Dorset for nearly 20 years) that I had the means and leisure to study them and their origins in depth. My retirement happened to coincide with renewed media pre-occupation with literacy failure in the 90's and blaming it on poor teaching, while totally ignoring the alphabetically irregular nature of English spelling.

I think what finally pushed me into this, when my health began to improve a bit and I was considering what to do with my life, although I had a small pension, was some phonics expert saying that the rest of Europe has higher literacy standards because they use nothing but phonics. She was suggesting that if the same happened over here, the results would be the same, which to me showed abysmal lack of awareness of the differences between English spelling and all other European writing systems. I felt somebody needed to do some 'educating'.

Doing research and writing a book seemed the best way of doing it at the time. But the internet has given me opportunities for 'educating' in ways which no fairly academic book ever could before.

This is very annoying to people who still like to pretend that learning to read and write English is no different from other alphabetically written languages. - It makes it much harder for them to sell their piggies in a poke. But lots of teachers really appreciate what I have done and continue to do.

mrz Fri 25-Jan-13 17:40:16

So you are an expert in child development too learnandsay ...I'm impressed

learnandsay Fri 25-Jan-13 18:53:03

Yup, and I built the international space station.

learnandsay Fri 25-Jan-13 18:57:03

There's about as much expertise on mumsnet as in my left armpit. It's just that some people have a mighty high opinion of themselves. It's just a forum where anyone can post stuff. It's not a scientific journal.

mrz Fri 25-Jan-13 18:58:47

I don't think much of the decor or finish

Feenie Fri 25-Jan-13 19:03:11

It's just that some people have a mighty high opinion of themselves.

I know, the conceit - anyone would think they had successfully taught hundreds of children to read over twenty years and therefore know precisely how to do it, or something....oh, hang on...hmm

mrz Fri 25-Jan-13 19:03:23

Or alternatively people who actually have many years experience and qualifications disagree with your opinions so you dismiss them out of hand

Feenie Fri 25-Jan-13 19:04:48

Ah, hello again, Masha. You were about to tell me last week exactly how many classes of children you'd taught to read again? Not sure what happened to your answer......

Feenie Fri 25-Jan-13 19:06:25

Ooh, Masha, your Amazon reviews are funny grin

learnandsay Fri 25-Jan-13 19:12:56

When you're in a public forum which has no requirements on who can post then your postings are no more important than anyone else's. It doesn't matter if you're Mother Theresa or the Dalai Lama.

mrz Fri 25-Jan-13 19:19:00

Which ones Feenie, the ones she wrote herself or the ones from teachers?

Feenie Fri 25-Jan-13 19:19:32

Depends what you're posting about, and whether you know a bit about it or not. I've received good advice for years on MN, on many subjects, from breastfeeding to fitting a car stereo. It's not difiicult to tell if the advice is sound or not - mostly you just need a bit of intelligence.

I would have never dreamed of being as rude to the breastfeeding expert or the mechanic as you are regularly to teachers, and I don't really understand your motivation.Clearly, I am not an expert, as they are, and I bow to their obviously better judgement.

As I said to you the other day, do you habitually visit medical forums and jeer at medical experts?

Feenie Fri 25-Jan-13 19:20:17

Both are hilarious, Mrz - thanks for the link! grin

Missbopeep Fri 25-Jan-13 19:20:40

I did look you up on Amazon and was surprised that you ended up teaching English when your degree is in Phllosophy and Psychology. I woudn't know where to start swapping subjects and teaching P&P when my subject is English, but there you go!

learnandsay Fri 25-Jan-13 19:20:56

It doesn't matter what people have done if they're talking rubbish. All that matters is what they're saying. There are lots of people who think that because they've taught in a classroom everything that they type is automatically right and that leads them to type things like different tenses have the same meaning and simply assume that because they have typed it then it must be right!!!

Experience and infallibility aren't equivalent I'm afraid.

Feenie Fri 25-Jan-13 19:24:01

But you seem to think that most things teachers with vast experience of teaching reading is rubbish.

With your vast experience of teaching...er...one child.

As I said, I wouldn't dream of stomping all over the breastfeeding boards and rubbishing every single thread - as you do - just because I breastfed one child successfully. That's exactly how you come across. And rude with it.

learnandsay Fri 25-Jan-13 19:26:24

On a public board you're only as good as your last post.

learnandsay Fri 25-Jan-13 19:27:51

People who find that hard to live with should avoid public boards.

Feenie Fri 25-Jan-13 19:30:23

On a public board you're only as good as your last post.

That's ridiculous, frankly.

I don't find it hard to live with - just telling you how you come across to people, and pointing out that no one understands what motivates you to do so.
Strange way to spend one's time, following around people who clearly know what they are talking about, just to pooh pooh them at every given opportunity.

learnandsay Fri 25-Jan-13 19:33:54

Different tenses have the same meaning is clearly knowing what she's talking about?!! Really?

No, there's an attitude abroad that some years in the classroom gives a woman the right to type any old horse poo into a browser window and claim that it's gospel.

Missbopeep Fri 25-Jan-13 19:33:56

On a public board you're only as good as your last post.

LOL grin- indeed lands.

Feenie has a point- do you stomp over forums where other professionals post and disagree with everything they say- or do you just have a bee in your bonnet about the teaching of reading, and education?

You seem to have a "thing" about teachers.

mrz Fri 25-Jan-13 19:34:56

It doesn't matter what people have done if they're talking rubbish. I think that's the point people are trying to make learnandsay

Missbopeep Fri 25-Jan-13 19:36:47

Different tenses have the same meaning is clearly knowing what she's talking about?!! Really?

This is a completely ungrammatical " sentence" and does not make any sense.

No, there's an attitude abroad that some years in the classroom gives a woman the right to type any old horse poo into a browser window and claim that it's gospel.

"There's an attitude abroad.."

is this how you speak in RL?

IS English your mother tongue?

learnandsay Fri 25-Jan-13 19:37:04

That's not what I'm reading. I'm reading about some people's vast experience and clearly knowing what they're talking about.

Feenie Fri 25-Jan-13 19:37:42

Different tenses have the same meaning is clearly knowing what she's talking about?!! Really?

So one teacher says one thing that's incorrect, and you make it your entire raison d'etre, visiting the boards several times a day, over and over, to rubbish anyone who dares say they have any expertise at all in teaching reading?

How bizarre confused

Missbopeep Fri 25-Jan-13 19:39:29

lands- why don't you train as a teacher and put all this good sense of yours into practise then?

You are all over the education forums like a rash, dishing out advice.

On what basis you feel you are the person to do this I can't begin to imagine.

learnandsay Fri 25-Jan-13 19:40:48

That's just one example. There is a general attitude abroad that teachers are always right because they're teachers. It's wrong.

learnandsay Fri 25-Jan-13 19:42:24

You don't need a basis to enter a public forum. You just need a browser window.

Feenie Fri 25-Jan-13 19:42:30

Ah. Now we are getting to it.

Learnandsay, that kind of attitude is just bonkers.

Feenie Fri 25-Jan-13 19:44:11

I fitted one car stereo successfully - I am not going to stomp all over any mechanics' forums claiming I am an expert, and they always pretend to be so right, because that would make me a little...er...unhinged. And somewhat paranoid.

Missbopeep Fri 25-Jan-13 19:46:26

lands if your reference to " different tenses etc etc" was aimed at me, let me remind you of one thing.
On that thread Haberdasher came along and agreed with me. She pointed out as I had for ages that you were making a meal out of something that was simply tenses and we asked if you couldn't see that. You disappeared as soon as another poster came along to agree with me.

I was not mistaken. If there was any mistake it was on your behalf- failing to understand what people were telling you. The other poster went further than i did and asked if English was in fact your mother tongue or if( she alluded) you were simply dim not to understand what we were both saying.

I find your arrogance offensive. I have taught English for 30+ years and have specialist training in addition in teaching literacy, yet you rubbish this and remark that you don't want to know about me. Well tough. You do know now and I am a damn sight more qualified to comment and advise than you.

learnandsay Fri 25-Jan-13 19:47:35

Feenie, nobody should fear being contradicted. If your arguments are sound they will triumph. If they're not they probably shouldn't be put into a public forum. In a public forum anybody can challenge anything.

mrz Fri 25-Jan-13 19:51:27

Don't you ever feel lonely as the only voice in the wilderness learnandsay?

learnandsay Fri 25-Jan-13 19:52:22

Nope.

Feenie Fri 25-Jan-13 19:57:10

Feenie, nobody should fear being contradicted. If your arguments are sound they will triumph.

My views on fitting car steroes? Not really. Because I have only fitted one, you see. And it would be a bit demented to stalk a load of mechanics because I have a)fitted one stereo and b)think the attitude that mechanics know everything about cars because they are mechanics is just wrong.

Bonkers confused

mrz Fri 25-Jan-13 19:57:58

I suppose swimming against the tide is good exercise learnandsay

learnandsay Fri 25-Jan-13 19:59:42

It's a public forum. What part of the phrase public forum are you having trouble with?

mrz Fri 25-Jan-13 20:02:15

I don't think anyone has a problem with public forums. If I was I would ask someone who knew what they were talking about to explain wouldn't you

learnandsay Fri 25-Jan-13 20:05:19

I would disagree.

Feenie seems to think she's being stalked in this one, or so she just said. The whole concept of a public forum is that anyone can log in. (That's the public bit.) And the forum bit means that they can discuss their ideas. It's an old idea. It's been around for quite a while.

mrz Fri 25-Jan-13 20:08:24

However internet stalking on public forums is a criminal offence learnandsay

Haberdashery Fri 25-Jan-13 20:10:10

>> or if( she alluded) you were simply dim not to understand what we were both saying

Actually, I didn't mean that lands was a bit dim as I don't think that's the case at all. I think she is probably quite intelligent in some ways. I meant something else. I think she has a problem with taking things too literally sometimes and finds it hard to grasp implied meaning and other shades of linguistic grey that most people take into account almost automatically, although of course anyone can have a misunderstanding. However, I don't want to get into another argument. I just wanted to point out that I wasn't being as rude as you clearly thought I was!

learnandsay Fri 25-Jan-13 20:10:51

Of course it is. If feenie thinks that she's being stalked then she needs to report it. All I can say is that if anyone feels so vulnerable that being contradicted in a public forum makes them think that they are being stalked then they should probably not post in them.

mrz Fri 25-Jan-13 20:15:50

Aren't you contradicting your own statement there learnandsay ... isn't a public forum where anyone can post if they wish.

learnandsay Fri 25-Jan-13 20:24:12

I don't believe so. To be able to post isn't the same as to be advised to post. Vertigo sufferers may take up tightrope walking. But they would probably be advised not to do so.

What I'm saying is that if someone who isn't being stalked confuses criticism for stalking and actually believes that she is being stalked in a forum, when in reality all she's doing is discussing ideas, then she would probably be better advised not to post in the forum. (She may choose to ignore that advice. But if she does then she can't complain about being stalked because she's not being stalked and she's in the forum by choice.)

Feenie Fri 25-Jan-13 20:27:35

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

learnandsay Fri 25-Jan-13 20:33:05

Feenie, if you can't deal with argument and counter argument in a public forum then don't post in public fora. But for God's sake don't post in them and then complain that other people do too. If you don't like public fora then avoid them.

Missbopeep Fri 25-Jan-13 20:34:11

People who have ASD can take language very literally and lack empathy.

mrz Fri 25-Jan-13 20:34:25

I think your tendency to follow those who disagree with you from thread to thread has been pointed out before learnandsay .are you sure you aren't lonely

Feenie Fri 25-Jan-13 20:37:02

I can deal, and I am not complaining. I'm telling you that your motivation to post over and over again contentious stuff about phonics - of which you know very little - is distinctly odd.

It appears it is you who is showing themselves unable to deal with argument and counterargument.

If you don't like public fora, then avoid them. wink

learnandsay Fri 25-Jan-13 20:38:02

I don't think that's what's happening. I think there are people who comment on almost every thread and whose views are opposed to mine. It seems there are also people who like to have the last word and will go on posting until the thread limit runs out.

SnowLiviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 25-Jan-13 20:40:01

Good evening all
I would like to gently link to our talk guidelines here

Thanks ever so.

mrz Fri 25-Jan-13 20:45:44

I think you will find that people on the primary forum post on threads that interest them personally learnandsay.

learnandsay Fri 25-Jan-13 20:48:04

That may be true. But if people post on the same thread that does not mean that they are following each other it means that they are posting in the same thread.

mrz Fri 25-Jan-13 21:13:15

I think it depends if a poster attempts to carry one discussion from one thread to another learnandsay

Houseworkprocrastinator Fri 25-Jan-13 22:09:44

i like scones smile

learnandsay Fri 25-Jan-13 22:15:08

If the points are unconnected then it might be annoying. But if the point is logical then it's a logical point. Threads aren't sacred. These are all public discussions. The posts are in the public domain. To argue that you are being followed because somebody refers to one of your previous comments is simply to show insecurity. If you have made a public comment you should be able to substantiate it.

learnandsay Fri 25-Jan-13 22:30:22

It's just life in a public forum, folks. Learn to deal with it.

Feenie Fri 25-Jan-13 22:45:48

There is some truth in that - but you do stand out.

Off to stalk the Legal boards - I've bought a house a couple of times, I'm more than qualified to tell the conveyancers they are talking bollocks. grin

learnandsay Fri 25-Jan-13 22:48:49

Have fun.

learnandsay Fri 25-Jan-13 23:00:22

If you want your posts to be accorded a special status don't post in a public forum, post in a private forum which guarantees your postings a special status.

Feenie Fri 25-Jan-13 23:05:38

I don't want my posts to be accorded a special status, lands - I want you to stop denigrating those who without questin have expertise that you don't, in terms of how many children they have taught to read, a gift that you seem not to value for others.

learnandsay Fri 25-Jan-13 23:07:14

I couldn't care less about poster's expertise. All I care about is the logic in their postings.

Feenie Fri 25-Jan-13 23:12:21

That much is obvious smile

learnandsay Fri 25-Jan-13 23:14:26

I don't think it's too much to ask for a knowledgeable person to present her argument logically.

Feenie Fri 25-Jan-13 23:20:46

I think you mistake lack of logic in many posters - especially when the answer has been staring them in the face for years.

learnandsay Fri 25-Jan-13 23:22:23

Logic is a discipline. Its absence is evident.

Feenie Fri 25-Jan-13 23:33:53

But not always applicable in children, learnandsay. And we are always talking about children - I think you forget that too, since you don't work with them.

learnandsay Fri 25-Jan-13 23:36:34

That's fine. Anyone who has an argument can come and present it. If for any reason that argument cannot be presented logically then a forum is probably the wrong place for it.

Feenie Fri 25-Jan-13 23:46:05

That's your opinion, learnandsay.

learnandsay Fri 25-Jan-13 23:48:32

Of course it is!! But then the Greeks invented logic for arguing in fora.

Mashabell Sat 26-Jan-13 06:44:12

Learnandsay
Mrz pounces on almost every single one of my posts, with Feenie close behind. They seem to have started doing the same to u. If they disagree with someone, but have no logical argument to put against their view, they just fill the tread with pathetic oneliners.

mrz Sat 26-Jan-13 07:17:15

masha you may have noticed that in most cases Feenie and myself have been contributing to the threads long before you arrive with your "lists" and unhelpful comments about the English spelling system. You may have also noticed learnandsay tell you to stop ...

mrz Sat 26-Jan-13 07:20:39

If you have made a public comment you should be able to substantiate it.

Good idea! You have made many public comments would you like to substantiate any of them?

Missbopeep Sat 26-Jan-13 08:05:36

Masha

With respect, your particular interest in the vagaries of English spelling has no real relevance on a forum which helps parents address their child's reading and spelling problems.

The work you have done is of interest, perhaps, to adults who want to know how spelling evolved. You are clearly promoting a cause but I don't think that MN is the place to do it.

I have looked at your books and reviews- most of which are NOT good! Abd you appear to be self-published. I wonder if you are in danger of over stepping the mark here with self-publicity for your work using this forum as a vehicle?

I am an author too of education & parenting books published by a mainstream publisher- but I would not "out myself" here as it would be a covert advert - which is not allowed.

Missbopeep Sat 26-Jan-13 08:17:12

learn- you should best avoid giving lectures on discipline.

Your inability to grasp the fact that verbs change tense/spelling but still essentially retain their definition was proof that you find logic rather tricky!

I feel quite sorry for you TBH. You come over as someone who possibly has had a rough time at school yourself ( very "us" and "them" attitude to teachers sometimes displayed here) and I don't know what motivates you to a) dish out advice as if you are an expert and b) keep coming back to argue with people who are qualified.

It's just an odd way to behave. I hope you are okay in RL- because you come over here as a bit sad and angry.

learnandsay Sat 26-Jan-13 09:41:15

I'm sorry. missbo. All your posts look like random rants to me.

learnandsay Sat 26-Jan-13 09:46:44

All I can say to you is: This is a public forum. Deal with it.

solidfoundation Sat 26-Jan-13 09:49:01

Depends where you live, I would say. Same with 'book', 'took' etc.

Missbopeep Sat 26-Jan-13 09:57:03

I am dealing with it fine. It's you I am worried about.

learnandsay Sat 26-Jan-13 10:12:52

I don't think randomly ranting counts as fine.

simpson Sat 26-Jan-13 10:23:23

God, is this argument thread still going?? <<yawn>>

frantic53 Sat 26-Jan-13 11:28:23

Interesting discussion. I would agree with "learnandsay" inasmuch as there are some teachers out there who are, sadly, not worth their pay-packet. One of DD2's teachers is a case in point. There is an old saying that, "those who can, do, and those who can't, teach". I'm sure I'd make a lousy classroom teacher as I would find disciplining a bunch of teenagers impossible, [short on patience emoticon] but I have been very disappointed to find that a head of department just doesn't know her subject at all! (I am a graduate in that same subject).

Back to the subject of, "scon" vs "scone", DD1 told me some time ago that she had heard an interesting talk on the radio in which it was claimed that they were originally two totally different things. A, "scon", apparantly, was originally an oatmeal based cake or biscuit and a, "scone" a type of leavened bread cake. I'm not sure how true that is and, it being Saturday and before 3pm, daren't ring DD1 and rouse her from her student Saturday morning lie in for fear of being cursed! grin

Feenie Sat 26-Jan-13 11:34:25

Interesting discussion. I would agree with "learnandsay" inasmuch as there are some teachers out there who are, sadly, not worth their pay-packet.

There are a few, as in any profession. But I don't think that fact makes it necessary for learnandsay to jump on every thread about reading and trash every post.

frantic53 Sat 26-Jan-13 11:54:35

Feenie I didn't say it did and I wasn't commenting on learnandsay's pre-disposition to do that or not as I have no personal experience of her or any of the threads to which you refer. Simply saying that, "I have had x year's experience of teaching this subject" doesn't automatically make you an expert. imo smile

Euphemia Sat 26-Jan-13 12:06:25

Simply saying that, "I have had x year's experience of teaching this subject" doesn't automatically make you an expert. imo

What does, then? confused

Missbopeep Sat 26-Jan-13 12:08:38

I would agree 100% that there are teachers not fit for purpose! As a teacher and a parent I have seen them from both sides. I do other work as well as teach ( that's p/t now)- I am an author.

But more to the point there are bad apples in every sphere of life- GPs, lawyers, dentists, plumbers- you name them! But what riles is not being given any credit at all for experience which is actually relevant.

Feenie Sat 26-Jan-13 12:15:07

No, but 'I have 20+ years' experience and have successfully taught hundreds of children to read' does make you an expert. wink

frantic53 Sat 26-Jan-13 12:25:00

Good grief! I wish I hadn't mentioned it at all now! smile Was hoping that if my post got any notice at all it would be the second part hmm

I warned you all that I'm not long on patience but I'll give it a go.

On a forum like this, no-one knows what your RL experience actually is. So, in this case, it doesn't count for anything. All that really counts is how knowledgeably you can communicate on your specialist subject. I could claim to be a nuclear physicist with 20+ year's experience in the field but how many of you would know if that were true or not? (I'm not btw grin )

Insofar as fora go, you really are only as good as you post.

Hope that clears my, very insignificant, point up? smile

mrz Sat 26-Jan-13 12:30:06

I think anyone who actually was a nuclear physicist reading your post would have a pretty good idea frantic53, just as teachers have a pretty good idea of those you do teach and those who say they teach wink.

frantic53 Sat 26-Jan-13 12:35:47

I think you mean, "those who do teach" mrz? Otherwise your post makes no sense! wink grin You're not a teacher I take it?

Missbopeep Sat 26-Jan-13 12:37:48

If you take the cynical approach that lots of posters are lying about themselves then you may as well not join forums.

Most posters give advice in good faith- when TBH we/they could be spending time on other things that benefit us or our families !

I can't answer for other posters and yes, accept that people can masquerade as something they are not- but most people using forums understand that.

frantic53 Sat 26-Jan-13 12:42:35

Not cynical at all Missbopeep, just realistic. How does one separate the masquerading from the genuine, perhaps by the quality of what they post, no? And so the merry-go-round goes on merrily round. Forgive me if I get off at this point grin

MerryCouthyMows Sat 26-Jan-13 12:44:02

I rhyme 'scone' with bone. I'm not trying to be posh - it's just how it's always been pronounced in my family.

My Ex pronounces 'scone' to rhyme with gone. He is most definitely not posh.

To me, it will always be pronounced to rhyme with bone, it sounds 'wrong' to my ears when it is pronounced to rhyme with gone.

And the post about language history was very interesting.

MerryCouthyMows Sat 26-Jan-13 12:46:50

I may well seek out MashaBell's books. I for one find her posts interesting and informative.

learnandsay Sat 26-Jan-13 12:46:56

A nuclear scientist with any sense wouldn't be posting on mumsnet. She would be publishing articles in a scientific journal. If you post on mumsnet your posting just gets the reception that it gets whether you like it or not.

bruffin Sat 26-Jan-13 12:48:07

I use both confused

mrz Sat 26-Jan-13 12:50:24

A nuclear scientist with any sense wouldn't be posting on mumsnet. no but they could be posting on a professional forum when up pops a well known poster from MN to join in the fun and give an opinion ...because it's a public forum and anyone can post.

Feenie Sat 26-Jan-13 12:52:57

A nuclear scientist with any sense wouldn't be posting on mumsnet. She would be publishing articles in a scientific journal. If you post on mumsnet your posting just gets the reception that it gets whether you like it or not.

But in any other profession on MN, it doesn't happen - in the examples I have given such as the legal boards, breastfeeding, etc, there are no such stalkers posters who say 'I did it once, I am therefore entitled to post as an expert on every single thread'. So why is that? confused

MerryCouthyMows Sat 26-Jan-13 12:55:43

Though I don't actually see how MashaBell's information helps to TEACH a DC phonics, it is interesting to me, as an adult, who has long had an interest in the roots and vagaries of the English language.

mrz Sat 26-Jan-13 12:56:17

Yes I'm a teacher frantic53 and one who didn't proof read her post before pressing the button ...unfortunately MN doesn't give you an edit option when you notice your bloomer.

mrz Sat 26-Jan-13 13:01:50

If you are interested in English language MerryCouthyMows I would suggest David Crystal (The story of English in 100 words is quite accessible)

bruffin Sat 26-Jan-13 13:04:45

My DS 17 says that

"scones" as in gone are what you buy from Tesco

"scones" as in cone are bought from Waitrose

learnandsay Sat 26-Jan-13 13:06:14

Maybe other professions type less horse poo. I don't know.

mrz Sat 26-Jan-13 13:09:45

Have you sought help for your obsession with shite poo

Missbopeep Sat 26-Jan-13 13:10:27

grin what an odd thing to say !

How on earth do you know who posts on MN! You might be surprised to know who people are in RL .

Nuclear scientists can be mums- and they may very wll post on MN!

learnandsay Sat 26-Jan-13 13:11:35

That's funny. I'll look out for scientific discoveries being published on mumsnet.

Feenie Sat 26-Jan-13 13:13:10

No doubt you'll rubbish those too. wink

learnandsay Sat 26-Jan-13 13:14:14

If they publish them on mumsnet they deserve everything that they get!

mrz Sat 26-Jan-13 13:16:14

you seem to have a pretty low opinion of MN

simpson Sat 26-Jan-13 13:17:23

Hands up, who wants to be LandS's DD's reception teacher....

<<no fighting now>>

learnandsay Sat 26-Jan-13 13:17:36

It's not a scientific journal.

mrz Sat 26-Jan-13 13:21:36

Have you considered for a moment that among those posting advice about a child's science homework may be a scientist in RL or the person posting about a child's development might be a paediatrician. Oddly enough those people are allowed to be parents and are allowed to spend time relaxing on the internet, even on MN if they want (it is a public forum) ...and they are allowed to write about whatever they wish not just publish their work.

learnandsay Sat 26-Jan-13 13:25:06

That's fine. Anyone can post. They just shouldn't expect their posting to be given any special privilege. If a scientist is daft enough to publish her life's work on mumsnet she shouldn't get upset if the next poster objects to it.

If she does get upset then she's silly.

mrz Sat 26-Jan-13 13:29:18

No one is going to post their life work on MN but they may post a reply on a thread because they have professional knowledge on the subject and I would be more inclined to listen to them than to a poster who offers a random opinion.

learnandsay Sat 26-Jan-13 13:34:04

You can feel free to listen to whoever you like. In a public forum all posts ,except the moderator's, have equal privileges. Anybody who wants her post to have a greater privilege should post it somewhere else.

Missbopeep Sat 26-Jan-13 13:41:02

lands- What about your DD? Are you going to spend all your time here when perhaps she needs to be read to, or talked to, or played with? i think you need toget alife instead of wanting attention via a forum.

As I said before, if you consider yourself this interested in education why not go into schools as a helper- or even train as a teacher?
You'd achieve a lot more than you are now by arguing with people.

learnandsay Sat 26-Jan-13 13:43:26

Don't be daft. There's plenty of time left in the day to argue pointlessly on mumsnet!

Feenie Sat 26-Jan-13 13:50:10

grin @ simpson

BooksandaCuppa Sat 26-Jan-13 13:56:51

Can't quite believe this 'waiting to be had' argument has kicked off on a thread about the pronunciation of a teatime treat. Well, obviously, I can believe it. It would be illogical not to.

Feenie Sat 26-Jan-13 13:58:29

I see what you mean, Books - not entirely sure why it was the scone that broke the camel's back grin

Missbopeep Sat 26-Jan-13 14:08:30

Scones- rhyming with gone- have a lot to answer for.

maizieD Sat 26-Jan-13 14:21:44

Would it help if I pointed out that the place in Scotland where the Scotttish monarchs were crowned is pronounced 'skoon' wink

And, can anybody tell me what these 'privileges' are that lands is on about?confused

mrz Sat 26-Jan-13 14:25:41

the etymology of scone is schoonbroot (dutch)

maizieD Sat 26-Jan-13 14:26:42

I agree with mrz that David Crystal is a safer bet than masha as far as the history of the English language is concerned. She has a tendency to make unevidenced sweeping statements about so many aspects of reading* that I wouldn't trust her 'soundness' as a researcher.

(*I have, on occasion, followed up some of her 'sources' and found that they did not say what she claimed that they did)

maizieD Sat 26-Jan-13 14:28:05

the etymology of scone is schoonbroot (dutch)

How did the Dutch pronounce it, mrz? [swink]

mrz Sat 26-Jan-13 14:34:55

I would imagine something like skoon wink and it was a flat cake rather like to Stone of Scone

maizieD Sat 26-Jan-13 14:35:42

Whoops! That should be a [b wink]

Why don't I preview more often... wink

scrablet Sat 26-Jan-13 14:35:42

and if those who can do and those who can't teach then realistically, how will anyone ever learn anything...?

maizieD Sat 26-Jan-13 14:37:51

I would imagine something like skoon wink and it was a flat cake rather like to Stone of Scone

Would that be the Stoon of Skoon, then, mrz?

mrz Sat 26-Jan-13 14:42:45

It would be wink ...I remember having an annual as a child that had a comic strip story of the Stone of Scone and it's theft and subsequent return to Scotland

mrz Sat 26-Jan-13 14:47:21

and then there are those who try to teach their grandmother to suck eggs scrablet.

Euphemia Sat 26-Jan-13 15:21:16

In case you're interested, the scones (skons) in the café at Scone (skoon) Palace are LOVELY. smile

Mmm ... Palace of scones ...

mrz Sat 26-Jan-13 15:31:49

Not been since I was a child but a Palace of scones sounds worth another trip [bgrin]

Euphemia Sat 26-Jan-13 15:36:45

They reopen on 1 April - nice Easter holidays excursion? smile

mrz Sat 26-Jan-13 15:40:25

Sounds very promising smile

BooksandaCuppa Sat 26-Jan-13 17:17:58

I third David Crystal.

Mashabell Sun 27-Jan-13 07:38:10

Mrz
you may have noticed that in most cases Feenie and myself have been contributing to the threads long before you arrive
I hadn't, but I have noticed that u post a great many hostile comments, which several people have also commented on.

your "lists" and unhelpful comments about the English spelling system
My lists are always related to the discussion and many people find them helpful.
U don't like them, because they show that English spelling is less regular than u pretend it is.

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 07:47:10

no masha your lists appear at every opportunity and as people have pointed out here and on other fora they are inaccurate so unhelpful!
Correct your lists and post away.

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 07:50:46

I would add that I think Debbie Hepplewhite's alphabetic code sheets clearly show the complexity of English orthography accurately
or try looking at

www.sounds-write.co.uk/docs/sounds_write_common_spellings_of_the_consonants_and_vowels.pdf

for a nice clear accurate overview

you might find it helpful masha

Mashabell Sun 27-Jan-13 07:56:58

Miss bp
in the vagaries of English spelling has no real relevance on a forum which helps parents address their child's reading and spelling problems.
Some people have said that they find them of interest.

The work you have done is of interest, perhaps, to adults who want to know how spelling evolved. You are clearly promoting a cause but I don't think that MN is the place to do it.

I have looked at your books and reviews- most of which are NOT good! Abd you appear to be self-published. I wonder if you are in danger of over stepping the mark here with self-publicity for your work using this forum as a vehicle?

I never mention my books on here. I have been very busy for the past two days and cannot remember if it was u or someone else who asked me a little while ago,
Masha- have you thought about writing a book on this as you spend a huge amount of time "educating" people- maybe you could actually make it pay?
(It may even have been earlier on this thread, but it's become too long to search through.)

I did wonder at the time if u perhaps knew that I had and were trying to trick me into talking about them, so u could get me banned from this forum.

I replied (and kept a copy, because it was rather long):

--- I have, as Mrz has pointed out. (I just hope that her doing so won't get me banned from this forum.)

Foolish though this may seem, I am much more concerned about 'educating' than making money. I first became annoyed and pre-occupied by the inconsistencies of English spelling when I first started to learn English at the age of 14, but it wasn't until my premature retirement from teaching (mostly English and modern languages in Dorset for nearly 20 years) that I had the means and leisure to study them and their origins in depth. My retirement happened to coincide with renewed media pre-occupation with literacy failure in the 90's and blaming it on poor teaching, while totally ignoring the alphabetically irregular nature of English spelling.

I think what finally pushed me into this, when my health began to improve a bit and I was considering what to do with my life, although I had a small pension, was some phonics expert saying that the rest of Europe has higher literacy standards because they use nothing but phonics. She was suggesting that if the same happened over here, the results would be the same, which to me showed abysmal lack of awareness of the differences between English spelling and all other European writing systems. I felt somebody needed to do some 'educating'.

Doing research and writing a book seemed the best way of doing it at the time. But the internet has given me opportunities for 'educating' in ways which no fairly academic book ever could before.

This is very annoying to people who still like to pretend that learning to read and write English is no different from other alphabetically written languages. - It makes it much harder for them to sell their piggies in a poke. But lots of teachers really appreciate what I have done and continue to do.

Mashabell Sun 27-Jan-13 08:08:49

I agree with mrz that David Crystal is a safer bet than masha as far as the history of the English language is concerned.
He makes several false claims about English spelling.
One is that English spelling is complex because the 43 or so English sounds have to be spelt with just 26 letters.
This is completely wrong.
Learning to spell is English difficult, because nearly all of its sounds are spelt in several ways (e.g. speak, speech, shriek, weird, even...) with a total of 205 different spellings for its 44 sounds.
Because he has become a well-known figure, people actually believe that rubbish, without bothering to check.

Mashabell Sun 27-Jan-13 08:20:10

Crystal also claims that only 20-25% of English words contain unpredictable letters.

Two major analyses (Hannah and Hannah in the 1950s and Carney in 1990s), and my own analysis of the 7,000 most used English words, have found that 50-55% do so.

If u want to believe what Crystal claims, that's up to u, but it's wrong.

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 08:28:46

No one is pretending that English isn't complex masha but as many teachers on TES point out it isn't the problem you claim it to be, if it were the number of pupils experiencing difficulties would be much higher than they are.
You have your own agenda and blame English spellings for every ill in the world ...I seem to recall you claiming that spelling was responsible for the 2011 riots hmm

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 08:37:07
mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 08:38:13
Missbopeep Sun 27-Jan-13 09:02:55

Masha

There was no "trick" involved in saying who you were.

A quick google of masha B , English spelling, would have thrown you up- you've been all over national media including Radio 4 where you said Libby Purves gave you a hard time. I am glad she did- she's an Oxford English graduate and knows dare I say more than you.

I query your expertise because now you say you didn't speak English until you were 14- so ti's not your mother tongue? How you taught it without a degree in the subject is odd too- I expect it was a private school?

I don't know what you mean by wanting to "educate" people. Surely if this were so, you would be giving helpful tips to enable children to learn English as it is- rather than campaigning for a reform of the spelling sysem- which is what you want.

No?

We all know that many English words are not phonic but that is thee joy of having a diverse culture.

it doesn't make it impossible for children toleanr. Or are you saying it does?

I used to learn Italian with a teacher who is Italian but who is also now a teacher of children with dyslexia- she has the SpLD Diploma and a degree. She would be the first to say that English spelling is hard compared to Italian- but you know what- she has learned it perfectly and teaching her pupils to do the same- so why can't everyone else?

I don't agree with what you are doing because i think it's a slur on our heritage. And you campaign is pointless- but you are using all opportunites to promote the " cause"- inc. MN.

Missbopeep Sun 27-Jan-13 09:05:30

*One is that English spelling is complex because the 43 or so English sounds have to be spelt with just 26 letters.
This is completely wrong.*

What do you mean by "wrong"? In whose opinion? Yours?

So that means we all have to change it?

Missbopeep Sun 27-Jan-13 09:07:01

Finally Masha- I'd expect you to use the correct spelling or "you"- not text speak- or is this another part of your campaign- making a point?

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 09:09:21

Missbopeep masha suggests we all adopt U as the spelling for you as it is works for I [rolls eyes]

Missbopeep Sun 27-Jan-13 09:13:37

grin

Maybe she can write all her posts phonically then- no one will understand what she is saying.

Job done!

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 09:17:39

You obviously don't visit TES

Euphemia Sun 27-Jan-13 09:22:52

Oh no! Does she post there as well? I only read the Scotland forums.

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 09:24:48

I'm afraid so

Mashabell Sun 27-Jan-13 10:14:10

Miss BP
you didn't speak English until you were 14- so ti's not your mother tongue? How you taught it without a degree in the subject is odd too
I am a bit exceptional in my abitlity to learn languages.
I taught in state schools, a girls grammar first, before it became comprehensive. My English was deemed good enough, but like u, my background bothered them initially. I was allowed to continued, because my results were good. Many English teachers only have A level English like me, or not even that sometimes.

campaigning for a reform of the spelling sysem- which is what you want
Because I understand how English spelling aggravates dyslexia, how it makes learning to read and write much more time-consuming, I have no doubt that removing some of its gremlins would improve the situation.

My main aim, however, is to help people understand why there is so much debate about how best to teach children to read and write in all English-speaking countries, with much changing and chopping of methods.

That's why I am so disliked by people who like to pretend that learning to read and write English is no different from other alphabetically written languages. - It makes it much harder for them to sell their piggies in a poke.

People who believe that English spelling was god-given, or that it is an integral part of English culture, hate me too and keep looking for ways to shut me up.

Euphemia Sun 27-Jan-13 10:24:52

I don't hate anyone. I also don't believe in God.

As I've said before, while there may be some merit in spelling reform, it's impractical. It's just not going to happen. How long would it take, and who would have the last word on spelling? What would it cost to replace all of the printed material used in schools, on the internet, in shops, road signs, etc?

How would we cope with the confusion caused among older people, used to the current orthography? Would it be acceptable for adults to continue to use the spelling they have learned, or would they have to learn the new way?

Is all of this worth it? Wouldn't the time, money and effort be better spent on giving additional support to children who struggle to learn to read?

Feenie Sun 27-Jan-13 10:32:42

That's why I am so disliked by people who like to pretend that learning to read and write English is no different from other alphabetically written languages.

I've never seen anyone say that to you, ever.

The sticking point for most if when you it is so complicated that most children find it incredibly difficult to learn to read and take years and years, when it would be oh so much easier if we reformed spelling.

All without having any experience of teaching reading at all.

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 10:40:40

Euphemia that is the question teachers keep asking masha and the one she keeps avoiding.
She fails to understand that most people don't have a problem learning to read and write even with our complex system.
The other important thing she fails to realise is that our spellings reflect the root/meaning of the word.
But most of all she doesn't understand that we quite like the idiosyncrasies of our language.

Missbopeep Sun 27-Jan-13 11:24:24

Masha I need to ask my mum about this but I recall that when my brother was learning to read in the late 1960s, there was an experiment (I think it was limited to certain parts of the country) with teaching reading- it involved first learning to read and spell using a phonically regular code- then having to re-learn to read words as they actually are. It might have been called IPA- will have to research. I know at the time that many parents were up in arms because they saw that children were having to learn twice over. The method was dropped as quickly as it had sprung up.

I am interested in the way you use "u" when you mean "you". This is a bit silly of you. "U" on its own sounds like the short vowel in cup. To make it sounds like "yoooo" it would need another vowel.

How are you going to discriminate in the type of spelling you would like to see used between people using the names of letters and their actual sounds?

I think TBH you are being disingenous in your claim that you want to "educate" people.

What you seem to want to do is continue your campaign to change the language. There is loads on the web about you and the interviews etc you have done- and it's not all about "educating"- you want change.

Our langauge has evolved over centuries and is still evolving.

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 11:26:38

Initial Teaching Alphabet -ITA

Missbopeep Sun 27-Jan-13 11:34:03

Yep- voila!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Initial_Teaching_Alphabet

So you see- it has been tried before- and never took off.

Missbopeep Sun 27-Jan-13 11:34:17
bruffin Sun 27-Jan-13 11:43:39

I went to secondary school with children that were taught ITA, they were put in remedial class for year 7, to be retaught the basics.

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 11:58:30

but it did take off Missbopeep the initial "experiment" was extended and other English speaking countries adopted it, even Ladybird produced books using ITA http://www.theweeweb.co.uk/ladybird/ita_ladybird.php
The ITA foundation is alive and well and still selling materials.

Missbopeep Sun 27-Jan-13 12:06:34

But that doesn't mean it was a good system. It did my brother no favours- and he is a lot younger than me, so I missed it thank goodness.

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 12:10:20

I think masha's argument would be that instead of children who had been taught ITA having to make make the transition to conventional spellings everyone should have been taught ITA (or a similar regular spelling system).

I know schools were still using it in the late 80s and the ITA foundation seems to suggest it is still around.

Missbopeep Sun 27-Jan-13 12:25:31

I'm sure she would.

But what a loss to our heritage and the derivations of words.

It's a bit like racism/ nazi-ism- but applied to language.

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 12:31:22

masha is from Lithuania so doesn't share our affection for our heritage.

maizieD Sun 27-Jan-13 13:04:48

As I understand it, ITA was very easy to learn because it was all one to one letter/sound correspondences. It's just that no-one gave any thought to how children were going to change from one system to the other. Which was stupid, but really quite typical of the way education works in this country.sad

We do have ITA to thank for one of our best known SP programmes, Jolly Phonics. Sue Lloyd taught ITA and she says that it gave her a real understanding of how written English worked and the best way to teach reading. Don't forget that ITA was introduced at a time when 'look & say' methods had taken a strong hold and to many people the idea of mapping discrete sounds to letters was a real novelty.

As far as marsha's spelling reform is concerned, the one point which she has never addressed, though asked to many times both here and on TES, is which accent is she proposing English is respelled to, given that it is spoken world wide in a huge range of accents? At present, no matter what your accent, and thus how you pronounce it, the same written word has the same meaning to anyone who reads it. Respelling to a specific accent (which is how it would have to be done) would leave huge chunks of English speakers completely baffled (just like ITA did) as respelling alters the 'sounds' of the word to them.

Houseworkprocrastinator Sun 27-Jan-13 13:17:08

I have dyslexia and a lot of my spelling mistakes are because i write things phonetically (thank goodness for spell check) my brain does not seem to remember the correct way of spelling words. having said that maybe if i had learned i a bit more phonics rules as a child i would have a better chance of getting things correct. I have no problems reading though just a bit slower so when i see a word i know it is correct.

I think if the language was to change i would probably be better at spelling but reading it would be awful, i struggle to read my daughters writing because as yet her spelling isn't great so everything is phonetic. I also hate text speak. But more than this i think the words would look horrible. Even as someone who struggles with the language, there is a certain something that makes it lovely.

Missbopeep Sun 27-Jan-13 14:13:29

masha is from Lithuania so doesn't share our affection for our heritage.

That much is clear.

Rather than campaigning to scrap the language which has evolved over centuries, why not focus on teaching people how the words have evolved.

Entymology is fascinating- and with my older pupils it often helps to tell them the derivations of words from French, Norse, latin, etc etc. Much more "educational" than scrapping our heritage. And sometimes, appreciating the orogins even helps them with spelling- especially prefixes and suffixes.

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 14:15:56

But that would ruin her quest to make use all spell you as U

DizzyHoneyBee Sun 27-Jan-13 14:18:46

Magic E is still taught in some schools but apparently is seen as old fashioned nowadays. It's a split digraph. As for bath/barth, it does mention the regional differences for this word in the letters and sounds book for phonics.

Missbopeep Sun 27-Jan-13 14:20:32

Do you mean U ( as in cup) or U as in use?

And what about A- as in ant or as in arrrrrrrrrgh!

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 14:25:11

masha refuses to tell us

Missbopeep Sun 27-Jan-13 14:39:28

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Euphemia Sun 27-Jan-13 16:31:53

How would car be spelled? At the moment it's the same for you and me, but I have a rhotic accent and pronounce it /k a r/ whereas you probably say /k aa/. Is there to be regional variation in spelling?

She never addresses these questions! angry

maizieD Sun 27-Jan-13 16:40:15

Precisely, Euphemia!

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 16:41:14

I think she would go with "k" "ah"

solidfoundation Sun 27-Jan-13 17:00:48

In our house it's pronounced s'gon as we have a brilliant cook in our house and that's what happens to them!

Mashabell Sun 27-Jan-13 17:31:08

MBP
Do you mean U ( as in cup) or U as in use?

So u don't understand the English 'open, long' and 'closed, short' vowel spelling system (which the OP asked about) either?
E.g. up, cup, under - use, unit, usual. I explained it on page 2. Here is my explanation again.

English has a unique and rather complex system for showing whether
the vowels a, i, o, u (and, to a lesser extent e) are long or short, as in:
flat, flatten – inflate; hem, hemmed – theme;
hid, hidden – hide; dot, dotty – dote; tub, tubby – tube.

When the vowels a, e, i, o and u are followed by just one consonant (or several consonants and a vowel), they are 'closed' and are supposed to have a short sound, as in:
at, pet, pin, dot, bun
actor, tender, hinder, doctor, bunting.

If a consonant after the letters a, e, i, o and u is followed by another vowel, they are supposed to be ‘open’ and long, as in:
hale, halo; peter, period; fine, final; sole, solo;
tube, tubular'.

If a stressed vowel before a consonant and another vowel is to stay short, it is supposed to be followed by a doubled consonant:
attitude, petty, pinnacle, dotty, bunny.
Hence:
cut + er = cutter: cute + er = cuter.

Several thousand English words conform to this system.

Unfortunately, there are also hundreds of words which break the ‘open and shut’ rule in five different ways.

1. Nearly 400 words of more than one syllable break the doubling rule by
failing to double a consonant after a short, stressed vowel
(habit, very, city, body, study) .

2. Another 158 words have doubled consonants which are
unrelated to keeping a stressed vowel short
(accommodation, hello, immense, occur, hurrah).

3. Several hundred words with short vowels have a
misleading, surplus –e:
have, seven, gone – cf. save, even, bone.

4. Nearly 200 words have
irregular spellings for the short vowels e, i and u
(bread, pretty, touch),
sometimes combined with missing doubled consonants as well
(many, women; money).

5.The ‘open’ vowel method is disobeyed by
87 words for long a (made - paid; make - break),
79 for long i (while - whilst, mime - climb)
100 for long o (mole – bowl, roll, soul)
and
the ‘e-e’ spelling is used in just 86 words
and different ones in 366 (eke – seek, speak, shriek).

This leave many children confused about the 'open, long' and 'closed, short' vowel spelling system, as introduced in the 14th century and most clearly evident in the writings of Chaucer.

It is also one of the main reasons why learning to write English takes so long.

The system was wrecked by mainly 16the century printers, mostly the foreign ones who printed the first English bibles and spoke no word of English.

Also by Sam Johnson for his 1755 dictionary. He deleted doubled consonants from many words of Latin origin (e.g. cittie, pittie) although not all (horror, terror). He worshipped Latin and was contemptuous of English spelling patterns.

Mashabell Sun 27-Jan-13 17:32:19

Typo: 16th C printers, not 16the.

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 17:35:26

ARGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Missbopeep Sun 27-Jan-13 17:37:18

Masha

I teach spelling in the main for my living. My book shelves are groaning under books about phonics and spelling, and the teaching of reading and spelling.

I haven't read all of your post- life's too short.

I think it is you who fails to understand.

A single vowel on its own says its sound- as a short vowel. So U would be as in cup.

You are entitled to pursue what is clearly a mission but as someone who is proud to be British with all our history which is reflected in our language- tricky as it may be at times, but most people manage it- I resent a foreigner coming along and saying it- our heritage- should be abandonned.

I also repeat what I said before- that I don't think your posts are remotely helpful to parents. All you are doing is emphasising the negative- not offering any help.

Euphemia Sun 27-Jan-13 17:51:18

Pur-lease!

Mashabell Sun 27-Jan-13 17:52:55

Houseworkpr...
I have no problems reading though just a bit slower so when i see a word i know it is correct.
Learning to read any language is easier than learning to write it.
There are also only around 2,000 common words with some tricky letters for reading, and the other letters of the words and context help with decoding those. For spelling there are at least 3,700 words for which u have to memorise their quirks (shut - sugar, champagne...).

I think if the language was to change i would probably be better at spelling but reading it would be awful, i struggle to read my daughters writing.

1. No reform would change the language, only some spellings - the ones that cause the most well-documented problems.

2. U are probably imagining that all words would need to be changed.

The worst retardants of literacy progress are the exceptions from the seven spelling patterns which occur in large numbers of words (55+) and create substantial reading difficulties as well. (The numbers in brackets show how many common words use the pattern - and how many don't.)

e: end – head, any, said, Wednesday, friend, leisure, leopard, bury - (301 – 67)

u: up – front, some, couple, blood - (308 – 68)



irregular consonant doubling:
merry – very – erratic
[regular – missing – surplus] - (381 – 439 - 153)

surplus –e endings [surprise – promise - cf. tennis] - (181)



/ee/: eat – eel, even, ceiling, field, police, people, me, key, ski, debris, quay -

(152ea – 304 others)

Long /o/ sound

o-e: mole – bowl, roll, soul; old, mould, boast, most, goes(171 – 100)

-o: no – toe, dough, sew, cocoa, pharaoh, oh, depot (106 – 59)

Long /oo/ : food – rude, shrewd, move, group, fruit, truth, tomb,

blue, do, shoe, through, manoeuvre (95 – 101)

I also hate text speak.
I am not fond of it either when it goes too far, but i think that dropping clearly redundant letters is great. If 'i' is ok, why not 'u'?

Mashabell Sun 27-Jan-13 17:59:13

Mrz: ARGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Another of mrz's typical comments when she has nothing constructive to say. That's why I can't take her seriously.

BP's comment
I teach spelling in the main for my living.
explains why she is so keen for parents not to understand what makes learning to write English difficult.

Anyone who finds my comments unhelpful does not have to read them.

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 18:03:55

A single vowel on its own says its sound- as a short vowel. So U would be as in cup.

unicorn
unit
usual
unite
etc

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 18:05:23

At least it's short and meaningful masha unlike your lists grin

Missbopeep Sun 27-Jan-13 18:06:54

Oh are you on Masha's mission too now?

Those words you quote are words.

I was taking about a single letter.

U sounds like U in CUP.

Not U in CUTE.

Euphemia Sun 27-Jan-13 18:09:54

Mashabell How would your proposed system handle regional variations in pronunciation?

OliviaMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 27-Jan-13 18:11:02

AHem
Don't make me link again
Peace and love

Missbopeep Sun 27-Jan-13 18:13:31

I teach spelling in the main for my living.
explains why she is so keen for parents not to understand what makes learning to write English difficult.

This is a totally stupid comment. It's now a conspiracy is it- to stop parents helping.

But we are stuck with it because one woman is not going to wipe out centuries of heritage .

So what would you like to do, parents?

-Read list after list of words which don't conform to phonics? Then go away and cry in a corner.

-Or have some handouts I have written for parents on real ways to help your child learn spellings - such as the help I gave earlier today on another thread here. And if you are intersted, and your children are older, give them some background to how those words evolved.

Come on then- hands up parents.

Missbopeep Sun 27-Jan-13 18:16:14

Mrz- you might like to look at your list again because several have "uni" as a prefix- meaning one. Children would do well to learn them as a list of words all prefixed with uni.

unit- a single one
unicorn- a single horn
unite- one joined

maizieD Sun 27-Jan-13 18:16:53

I am perpetually fascinated by these naughty old words which refuse to follow the rules.

It's not often that I read marsha's cut and paste jobs, but when I do, they do make me smile..grin

Feenie Sun 27-Jan-13 18:22:44

This is a totally stupid comment. It's now a conspiracy is it- to stop parents helping.

Oh yes. grin You are now up to Masha speed. We are in a massive conspiracy to pretend that children actually can learn to read and spell successfully, thereby denying Masha her entirely reasonable and sane spelling reform campaign.

Olivia, is 'listing' people against T and Cs? <innocent face>

maizieD Sun 27-Jan-13 18:24:03

Mrz- you might like to look at your list again because several have "uni" as a prefix- meaning one. Children would do well to learn them as a list of words all prefixed with uni.

Please Mbp, don't start on mrz. Like you, she is a very experienced teacher who has probably been teaching phonics for far longer than you have (and with a rather better understanding of it, I have to say). You'll make yourself really unpopular if you come on here telling everyone what to do...

maizieD Sun 27-Jan-13 18:27:38

Actually, I think that a 'u' all on its own can be anything you want it to be; as it isn't actually a bone fide word.

I don't really mind marsha spelling 'you' as 'u'. I just wish she's spell her name the way it sounds wink

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 18:38:54

Was it my ARGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH! that has upset MNtowers?

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 18:41:31

Or sound her name the way she spells it grin

Missbopeep Sun 27-Jan-13 18:44:04

Maizie- I am not " starting" on anyone.

I am not going to get into a silly kind of "I have been teaching longer than you" but all I will say is that I am close to teachers' retirement age. Whether this is longer or not than Mrz I don't know nor do I care really. No one has the monopoly on giving advice here so if it ruffles anyone's feathers when another teacher comes along that's rather silly.

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 19:02:16

My feathers aren't ruffled Missbopeep

maizieD Sun 27-Jan-13 20:10:08

There's no feather ruffling involved. It's just the tendency to correct everybody with what you regard to be 'right'.

I'm afraid there are no 'non-phonetic' words in English...

maizieD Sun 27-Jan-13 20:11:13

Sorry, everyone is at perfect liberty to give advice on here, but only if it is asked for...

mrz Sun 27-Jan-13 20:25:32

So lots of nice smooth feathers here smile

learnandsay Sun 27-Jan-13 22:52:17

Horse poo is horse poo. It doesn't matter how near the retirement age a person is.

Mashabell Mon 28-Jan-13 07:30:23

Miss BP
No one has the monopoly on giving advice here so if it ruffles anyone's feathers when another teacher comes along that's rather silly.

Indeed, Miss bp, indeed.

socharlotte Mon 28-Jan-13 09:33:53

'I'm afraid there are no 'non-phonetic' words in English... '

ha ha that's only because phonics proponents make up a new rule for every exception!!!

learnandsay Mon 28-Jan-13 09:46:53

Or because they say all words are made up of sounds therefore all words are phonic, making the definition of phonic useless. Using that definition phonics might as well be renamed words because under the definition above there is no difference between the two.

mrz Mon 28-Jan-13 17:01:53

which exceptions would those be socharlette?

maizieD Mon 28-Jan-13 17:15:47

'Phonetics' is concerned with speech sounds. Can someone give me an example of a word which has no speech sounds in it?

socharlotte Tue 29-Jan-13 10:05:02

MrZ
For 'ough I learned the following sentence'
Though the rough cough and hiccough plough me through

other common words following the pattern

Though- dough
Rough- tough enough
cough (can't think of any)
hiccough (none)
plough- bough
through
(I am excluding proper nouns because they can say anything you want!)
If, out of the tens of thousands of words in common usage in the English language none of them or only one or 2 follow the same pattern, then you cannot really say that it is a rule.They are exceptions.

learnandsay Tue 29-Jan-13 10:11:19

But phonicsy people are cleverer than that, socharlotte. If there are fifty ways of writing the sound eee they just say there are fifty ways of writing the sound eee and leave people to get on with it. Then the only rule is there are fifty ways of writing it. It doesn't matter to them that two of those ways are only used once each in the entire language.

learnandsay Tue 29-Jan-13 10:13:19

They also say some daft things like earth starts with the sound er (as in error) which it clearly doesn't unless you say erth (which I don't.)

learnandsay Tue 29-Jan-13 10:26:22

An interesting question is if a word has multiple sounds and multiple meanings how do you read it using sounds? minute, bow, sow and so on.

Is it wrong to be wondering why Masha has 2 'l's in Bell? Surely one would be enough.

Missbopeep Tue 29-Jan-13 11:05:47

An interesting question is if a word has multiple sounds and multiple meanings how do you read it using sounds? minute, bow, sow and so on.


Quite simple- you use the context. Even as adults when we read we have to do this.

Eg The couple had a row ( as in a boat or as in a ding-dong) The passage you are reading tells you which.

learnandsay Tue 29-Jan-13 11:25:32

I agree, you use context. Context is used all the time when reading.

merrymouse Tue 29-Jan-13 16:26:38

If you changed spelling to follow new rules, you would have to get people to change the way they speak too.

For instance some people rhyme bath and chat and book and shoot and some people don't. Imagine if somebody changed the spelling of bath to barth?

I for one would be finding an air raid shelter and preparing for the next civil war.

merrymouse Tue 29-Jan-13 16:29:59

Also, would this extend to place names? It would be war.

(Except nobody would know how to spell war, because somebody would have to come up with a spelling to distinguish it from car)

merrymouse Tue 29-Jan-13 16:31:34

(Or maybe they would say wore which wouldn't really help matters one bit).

mrz Tue 29-Jan-13 16:36:19

other common words following the pattern

Though- dough
Rough- tough enough
cough (can't think of any)
hiccough (none)
plough- bough
through

If, out of the tens of thousands of words in common usage in the English language none of them or only one or 2 follow the same pattern, then you cannot really say that it is a rule.They are exceptions.

I would never say there is a rule (there are no rules) but I would also say that by definition, "an exception would indicate that that no other word uses that spelling to represent the same sound and from your list that is clearly untrue of the words you have written socharlotte

merrymouse Tue 29-Jan-13 16:39:13

We'd probably have to start rhyming mall and tall like the Americans. It just doesn't bear thinking about.

maizieD Tue 29-Jan-13 16:40:06

If you changed spelling to follow new rules, you would have to get people to change the way they speak too.

No we wouldn't. What on earth makes you think that?

Lands,

They also say some daft things like earth starts with the sound er (as in error) which it clearly doesn't unless you say erth (which I don't.)

The only person saying daft things is you.

mrz Tue 29-Jan-13 16:40:14

which it clearly doesn't unless you say erth (which I don't.) out of interest how do you pronounce Earth learnandsay (and how do you pronounce learn andsay)

learnandsay Tue 29-Jan-13 16:44:25

Rhymes with birth.

mrz Tue 29-Jan-13 16:49:23

so erth hmm

I say earth as erth and it rhymes with birth, vowel sound the same as turf.

learnandsay Tue 29-Jan-13 16:56:17

er words are erratic, Errol, Erasmus.

mrz Tue 29-Jan-13 16:56:25

ergo wink learn to rhyme with burn, fern, girn ...

merrymouse Tue 29-Jan-13 17:02:27

"No we wouldn't. What on earth makes you think that?"

Because quite clearly, we don't all pronounce things in the same way.

Therefore, if you change spelling to more closely follow pronunciation, you will very quickly run into problems.

Haberdashery Tue 29-Jan-13 17:02:46

In what accent do birth and earth not rhyme? I am genuinely curious.

learnandsay Tue 29-Jan-13 17:02:53

The ur sound in earth sound like the one at the start of urban and urgent.

merrymouse Tue 29-Jan-13 17:03:32

See scone, above.

mrz Tue 29-Jan-13 17:08:37

The ur sound in earth sound like the one at the start of urban and urgent. and does that sound different to the er sound in error or the ir in irksome or the ear sound in early?

merrymouse Tue 29-Jan-13 17:09:22

I think Celia Johnson would probably have said 'eth'. But then she might also have said 'beth'.

maizieD Tue 29-Jan-13 17:16:45

Because quite clearly, we don't all pronounce things in the same way.

Therefore, if you change spelling to more closely follow pronunciation, you will very quickly run into problems.

There is no obligation for you to pronounce a word according to its spelling. You pronounce words according to your accent and the commonly accepted pronunciation used by people around you. This is what, in part, produces the phenomena which lands is moaning about of one spelling representing more than one sound and one sound being spelled more than one way.

The difficulty with reforming spelling would be the question of which accent to 'respell' to and the probability that millions of English speakers world wide no being able to understand the respelled word because they would associate a completely different 'sound' with a particular grapheme.

Just look at the heavy weather everyone is making here of the pronunciation of 'er'.

(personally, I'd go for 'er' being the same sound as the 'er' in 'her' and having common alternative spellings of 'ir', 'ur' and 'ear'. I'd also say that the 'er' at the begining of 'error,' errand' etc is spelling two sounds /e/ [as in 'leg'] and /r/)

maizieD Tue 29-Jan-13 17:18:30

Sorry, sentence about English speakers in prev. message is very garbled; too much over correction sad

learnandsay Tue 29-Jan-13 17:22:22

Her sounds like hur, rhymes with purr and ur is the u sound and r.

mrz Tue 29-Jan-13 17:23:23

so you say "u" as in up and "r" as in rat?

learnandsay Tue 29-Jan-13 17:30:13

No, the u sound is the one in the middle of the word surge or at the beginning of urge. The u sound at the beginning of up is different.

mrz Tue 29-Jan-13 17:31:14

But the middle sound in surge isn't "u" it is "ur"

mrz Tue 29-Jan-13 17:31:58

It's a vowel digraph, two letters representing a single sound

learnandsay Tue 29-Jan-13 17:33:03

ur is u and r

learnandsay Tue 29-Jan-13 17:34:07

r isn't a vowel.

mrz Tue 29-Jan-13 17:36:08

ur is u and r if they were you would say "u" as in cup and "r" as in rabbit not "ur" as in surge

no but u is

learnandsay Tue 29-Jan-13 17:40:08

Lots of letters sound different in different words. Nobody can say this letter always sounds like this regardless of which words they choose as examples. What I'm saying is that the u in urge has the same sound as the ea at the beginning of earth.

merrymouse Tue 29-Jan-13 17:40:26

But that's what I meant Maisie - which accent would you decide was the right accent? It would only work if we all spoke the same way. I'm not advocating that people change their accents. I am pointing out the pit falls of changing spelling rules.

learnandsay Tue 29-Jan-13 17:41:12

after both of them comes the sound r

merrymouse Tue 29-Jan-13 17:43:04

Sorry, that should be changing spelling to more closely follow rules.

maizieD Tue 29-Jan-13 17:51:30

I did wonder, merrymouse! It seemswe are really saying the same thing (as do all Great Minds grin)

mrz Tue 29-Jan-13 17:55:57

learnandsay the "ur" in surge is a vowel digraph and the "ear" in earth is a vowel trigraph ...you have said you say earth to rhyme with birth not ee (as in eel)-rth.

Missbopeep Tue 29-Jan-13 18:06:13

Maybe people with Scottish accents say earth differently- more like "air -uth"?
In "errand" I think the first e stands alone-e/rrand. Not er-rand.

Haberdashery Tue 29-Jan-13 18:40:56

I'm very sorry I asked! More confused than before now.

learnandsay Tue 29-Jan-13 18:49:00

You can put letters together and call them anything you like. That doesn't change their sounds. I'll give you some examples of letter combinations which have genuinely fused together

th
sh
ch

in those examples it is no longer possible to tell where the individual letters start and end. In the case or urgent and earth the r sound is very audible. It's preceded by u in the first case and ea in the latter. Bundling combinations of letters up an giving them names doesn't change that fact.

mrz Tue 29-Jan-13 18:55:03

learnand say you yourself have said you don't pronounce the <u> as the sound in up or cup but as the <ur> in surge ...whether you like it or not <ur> is a vowel digraph and that isn't dependent on my liking but on linguistics.

Euphemia Tue 29-Jan-13 18:57:44

The /r/ sound in "earth" isn't audible at all in non-rhotic accents, e.g., RP.

DH and I are from different parts of Scotland: I say /e r th/ and he says /u r th/ smile

The following sound completely different in DH's accent:

heard /h e r d/
bird /b i r d/
earth /u r th/

grin

Euphemia Tue 29-Jan-13 18:59:57

/ur/ isn't a digraph in my accent as we would articulate both the /u/ and the /r/.

mrz Tue 29-Jan-13 19:02:33

So do you say "u" as in up and "r" as in rat?

Euphemia Tue 29-Jan-13 19:05:28

Yes - a word like "surge" would be made up of four sounds, with the tongue curling into the /r/ position after the /u/.

learnandsay Tue 29-Jan-13 19:07:11

How someone else has defined it makes no difference to the sounds that I hear. I can distinguish the u and the r in earth and urgent whereas I cannot distinguish the letters in th, or ch. I don't dislike the fact that someone has combined the letters and named them, it's just irrelevant and slightly misnamed given that r isn't a vowel.

Euphemia Tue 29-Jan-13 19:12:39

In some non-rhotic accents the vowel is coloured by the /r/ sound, but in RP for example there is no /r/ sound there at all. In the word "car", an RP speaker says /k aa/ whereas I say /k a r/, with a definite /r/ articulation.

Which accent are you talking about, learnandsay? Is it one likely to have vowels coloured by the /r/ sound, e.g., Devon, Somerset?

mrz Tue 29-Jan-13 19:12:53

I'm not sure why you think you wouldn't hear the "r" Euphemia but what I'm asking is it clearly distinct as a separate sound or combined with the <u> to make "ur"

Euphemia Tue 29-Jan-13 19:17:10

If we're talking about RP, there's no /r/ sound in surge. I can't type IPA here, but it's shown in the Cambridge Dictionary entry for the word.

learnandsay Tue 29-Jan-13 19:20:36

No, Euphemia, it's just a Home Counties, but not RP, accent.

All letters are combined in words, mrz. That's what a word is.

mrz Tue 29-Jan-13 19:24:59

s&#604;&#720;d&#658;

"s" "ur" "j"

mrz Tue 29-Jan-13 19:25:57

unfortunately MN won't accept the IPA

Euphemia Tue 29-Jan-13 19:30:34

I'd be surprised if an /r/ is actually being articulated in "earth" and "urgent", then - the spelling is probably colouring what you think you're hearing.

Are these homophones for you, learnandsay?

awe, oar
larva, lava
gnaw, nor

Accents are fascinating. smile

Euphemia Tue 29-Jan-13 19:36:50

Is that vowel in IPA ever used anywhere else in English accents? I can't think of any words except those with an "r" in the spelling.

mrz Tue 29-Jan-13 19:37:11

Thank you Euphemia!
That's what I've been trying to say (but not very effectively) the "ur" in earth is a distinct sound not articulated as separate sounds as "u" "r" but as "ur"

mrz Tue 29-Jan-13 19:39:03

no the "3 " is the representation for "ur
www.antimoon.com/how/pronunc-soundsipa.htm

Euphemia Tue 29-Jan-13 19:47:46

I thought so - we don't have that vowel at all in Scottish accents, although there is evidence that the postvocalic r is disappearing.

When we teach phonics we don't teach:

or (just the same as /o/ followed by /r/)
er
ar
ir
ur

learnandsay Tue 29-Jan-13 20:10:27

awe, oar (yes) although this one ends with an r sound
larva, lava (no) larvae (insect eggs) has an r in the middle
gnaw, nor (yes) although this one ends with an r sound

Euphemia Tue 29-Jan-13 20:12:16

How can they be homophones if one sounds different to the other? confused

learnandsay Tue 29-Jan-13 20:13:55

No, that's a mistake. I think awe and or are not homophones oar ends with a pronounced r and awe doesn't. I've just been repeating them.

learnandsay Tue 29-Jan-13 20:17:15

The yes referred to the entire homophone not simply to the word on the right.

Euphemia Tue 29-Jan-13 20:21:22

Ok I see now, thanks. smile

mrz Tue 29-Jan-13 20:34:25

what about or, ore, awe, oar
alm & arm

Euphemia Tue 29-Jan-13 20:48:33

For me, ore and oar are homophones, but none of the rest.

learnandsay Tue 29-Jan-13 20:48:44

You can stress the r on the end of or, ore and oar if you want to. If you were having an argument with somebody and said don't stick your oar in, stressing the r they would understand you perfectly. You could stress an r in awesome - orsome and it would be perfectly understandable although clearly not the way that I speak. The r in arm is detectable just as it is in art or heart.

scrablet Tue 29-Jan-13 21:54:38

Several posters acknowledge regional accent differences, but then go on to say,'the r in...' and the 'ur in...' which is given as a definitive, therefore not acknowledging these.
Surely a lot of the time, the argument is moot because words are said differently and RP is no longer considered the only 'correct' way?

learnandsay Tue 29-Jan-13 22:00:48

It seems to me that the problem is that some people have defined certain sound groupings and are insisting that other people use their definitions. Hearing doesn't work like that. Every person hears what they hear. Hearing is personal. There may be a codified method of describing the sounds in words but nobody is forced to use it. Anybody can feel free to describe what they hear just as they would describing bird songs or any other sounds.

Euphemia Tue 29-Jan-13 22:02:28

My difficulty is in seeing how spelling could be reformed to reflect pronunciation rather than orthographic convention, given the variation in pronunciation across the English-speaking world.

How would "pull" be spelled, for example? For me, "pull" and "pool" are homophones so the spelling "pool" for each word would be fine by me. Not so for most English accents, where they have different vowels.

Euphemia Tue 29-Jan-13 22:04:09

Anybody can feel free to describe what they hear just as they would describing bird songs or any other sounds.

But they can't then expect others to understand what they mean, or expect their meaning to be clear.

learnandsay Tue 29-Jan-13 22:09:34

Isn't that Robert Burns' point? The people who understand you understand you and the ones who don't don't.

Euphemia Tue 29-Jan-13 22:14:10

What did Burns say?

learnandsay Tue 29-Jan-13 22:15:18

He wrote poems in dialect.

Houseworkprocrastinator Tue 29-Jan-13 22:19:32

would be interesting to see if there was any research into how quickly children learn to read and spell with different regional accents. I know my daughter has struggled with a couple of words because we live in an area i was not brought up in and so far she has my accent and way of talking rather than the local one.

she is also lazy and says 'f' instead of 'th' so often spells that wrong.

learnandsay Tue 29-Jan-13 22:26:54

If we try to force everyone to use the same descriptions of sounds then we're not really talking about sounds at all we're simply talking about one set of sound definitions.

mrz Wed 30-Jan-13 07:08:18

He wrote poems in dialect.
So did Shakespeare hmm

mrz Wed 30-Jan-13 07:43:25

and no one is trying to force people to use the same description of sounds but you do realise that the International Phonetic Alphabet has been around since the 19th C and that the rules of articulation were written in 750CE

learnandsay Wed 30-Jan-13 10:56:08

What rules would they be? English as we know it didn't exist in 750.

Missbopeep Wed 30-Jan-13 12:23:22

Children writing in an accent occurs all the time. I have taught across the length of the UK_ minus Scotland and Wales, though have taught Scottish pupils on a 1:1 basis and had huge issues with words like "put" as they say "poot".

In the north east, pupils try to write in "Geordie" whereas in the south they often add an "r" in bath, for instance. And in the south east, V in brother , mother, instead of a th sound is a classic.

learnandsay Wed 30-Jan-13 14:00:15

Trainspotting and A Clockwork Orange are both written in dialect.

mrz Wed 30-Jan-13 17:42:44

and the authors were able to write them in dialect because they understood phonics learnandsay ...so I'm not sure what your point is.

Anjou Wed 30-Jan-13 17:50:28

I grew up in the West Country where everyone I knew pronounced it 's-cone'. Those that pronounced it 'sconn' were considered to be very, very, posh (pronounced 've-hy, ve-hy poshe'). Most folk I've met elsewhere in the UK, and everyone I've met in Scotland where I live, opts for 'sconn', and they think that to say 's-cone' is ve-hy, ve-hy poshe.

mrz Wed 30-Jan-13 18:10:16

and did I say the rules of articulation were written for modern English (clearly as they were written in 750CE that isn't the case)

learnandsay Wed 30-Jan-13 18:11:53

which rules

mrz Wed 30-Jan-13 18:13:31

They are actually called The Rules Of Articulation learnandsay.

Euphemia Wed 30-Jan-13 18:15:47

If we try to force everyone to use the same descriptions of sounds then we're not really talking about sounds at all we're simply talking about one set of sound definitions.

The IPA is standardised notation of phonetics, but of course it can't describe how every speaker sounds exactly. That's not its purpose. Its purpose is to allow the scientific study of language.

learnandsay Wed 30-Jan-13 18:15:58

That's a Modern English title. It seems a little odd for an Old English text.

learnandsay Wed 30-Jan-13 18:16:20

Who wrote it?

Euphemia Wed 30-Jan-13 18:17:56

Oh and regarding Burns, as well as writing in the Scots language, he also wrote in a lighter Scots dialect and in standard English, in order to be accessible to a wider audience.

learnandsay Wed 30-Jan-13 18:24:28

Some scholarly discussions of the IPA note different linguists' approaches and even different methods of symbolising the same word depending on the method being used, within the IPA. And they also mention the need for laboratory phonetics to enable more precise statements to be made. Therefore scholars note the conventions and assumptions within the IPA and comment that other phonetic alphabets are available.

Euphemia Wed 30-Jan-13 18:29:13

What's your point, learnandsay?

mrz Wed 30-Jan-13 18:31:52

I teach in the North East and our pupils don't write in Geordie hmm

learnandsay Wed 30-Jan-13 18:38:27

They aren't saying that an IPA symbolisation is the truth. They're just saying it's a way of representing an opinion of what a word sounds like. And they're saying that the same word can be represented differently within the IPA.

Euphemia Wed 30-Jan-13 18:40:33

I'm always very impressed by pupils' awareness of register i.e. knowing that we (usually) write in standard English, but speak more informally, and often in dialect.

Even in January, when we have been learning about Scots, memorising poems in Scots, and reading Scots stories, the children never write in anything other than standard English.

In my day you'd have got the strap for speaking in Scots in school, never mind writing it! grin

Euphemia Wed 30-Jan-13 18:52:47

They aren't saying that an IPA symbolisation is the truth. They're just saying it's a way of representing an opinion of what a word sounds like. And they're saying that the same word can be represented differently within the IPA.

Absolutely - no-one claims it's a perfect system. It's very strongly-influenced by European languages, but it's a very useful tool.

mrz Wed 30-Jan-13 18:52:48

Our pupils save dialect for reported speech

Missbopeep Wed 30-Jan-13 19:03:43

I teach in the North East and our pupils don't write in Geordie

so? confused

Things have obviously changed in some schools anyway because they certainly tried to when I was there- but it was a long time ago. It was quite normal to see "gannin" for " going".

mrz Wed 30-Jan-13 19:18:27

So it was a bit of a blanket statement to make Missbopeep as only a small part of the North East is "Geordie land"

Missbopeep Wed 30-Jan-13 21:01:22

I don't really get your point.

If you know the north east well then you would know that there is a very precise region that is termed "Geordieland". That is the area I worked in and that is what I was illustrating.

If you mean the north east as in anywhere from Hull to Berwick, then no.

mrz Thu 31-Jan-13 07:18:34

I taught on Tyneside but my pupils would be horrified to be considered "Geordies"

mrz Thu 31-Jan-13 07:19:34

and no they didn't write in dialect.

Missbopeep Thu 31-Jan-13 10:35:19

Oh so to be a Geordie is something to be ashamed of?

How odd.

They must have been posh "Geordies" then. Whatever, pet.

<<shrugs>>

learnandsay Thu 31-Jan-13 10:37:08

No, on Tyneside they're Maccams and woe betides anyone who calls them Geordies!

learnandsay Thu 31-Jan-13 10:40:37

That's Teesside.

Missbopeep Thu 31-Jan-13 11:06:42

A Geordie by definition is someone born on the banks of the Tyne- or near enough.

Like a cockney is someone born within the sound of Bow bells.

I am wondering when it became a derogatory term and something to be "horrified" of being?

The entire population of Newcastle should now be hanging their heads in shame.

Missbopeep Thu 31-Jan-13 11:09:21

It has absolutely nothing to do with Teeside.

Maccem interestingly enough is derived from the dialect contraction of "make them".

Geordies "maccem" and "tackem"- make them and take them.

Pet.

mrz Thu 31-Jan-13 16:46:27

Oh so to be a Geordie is something to be ashamed of?

How odd.

They must have been posh "Geordies" then

Not posh in the slightest just not Geordies

learnandsay is correct on south Tyneside they consider themselves Maccems and wear read and white so being called a Geordie is an insult

mrz Thu 31-Jan-13 16:49:38

they still didn't write in dialect

mrz Thu 31-Jan-13 17:32:22

Oldest Living English?

"Today the only part of England where the original Anglo-Saxon language has survived to any great extent is of course the North East. ^Here the old language survives in a number of varieties, the most notable of which are Northumbrian and Geordie. It is from the ancient Germanic and Scandinavian language of the Angles that the unique local dialects of Northumberland and Durham primarily owe their origins.*

Geordie words should not therefore be seen as sloppy pronounciation or a poor use of language, as they are in fact of great antiquity. Indeed many old words and phrases commonly used in the old works of Chaucer and Shakespeare which are no longer used in other parts of Britain have survived as common usage in the North East."

Missbopeep Fri 01-Feb-13 09:27:44

mrz learnandsay is correct on south Tyneside they consider themselves Maccems and wear read and white so being called a Geordie is an insult

read??

Sorry but she is not right.

People from Sunderland wear red and white scarves etc to support that footie team. Sunderland is not Teeside or south Tyneside. It's Wearside.

I ought to know - my family have lived there for generations.

learnandsay Fri 01-Feb-13 09:37:17

I'm not talking about Sunderland. I'm talking about Hartlepool.

Missbopeep Fri 01-Feb-13 11:44:44

Fine. <<whatever>>

Do you live in the NE by the way? Or have lived there for any length of time?

learnandsay Fri 01-Feb-13 12:32:57

I lived in Hartlepool for four years.

mrz Fri 01-Feb-13 17:16:40

I taught in Hartlepool and Middlesbrough many years ago.
Yes Missbopeep I do live in the NE and have lived there for half a century smile
My first school was in South Shields on the south bank of the Tyne and staunch Black Cats.

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