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Pedants' corner

Would you be for or against...

5 replies

TrillianAstra · 26/08/2011 11:38

Global standardisation of English spellings?

And why?

I would in theory be pro-standard-spelling, but I know I'd hate it in reality as whoever was chosen to pick would probably pick the wrong spelling of a word I felt strongly about.

OP posts:
Scaevola · 26/08/2011 11:44


All artificial attempts at spelling reform, rationalisation and standardisation have failed so far, so I tend to see this as a waste of time. I think it is unsuitable also because of the constantly evolving nature of language, and in addition especially unsuitable for creoles and pigins.

I would however be interested (just from intrigue) to know how anyone would set up a body, not just to set standards, but to enforce them. Such a body doesn't really exist for anything, and I cannot quite imagine what it would look like here.

Esian · 26/08/2011 11:44

You mean like -ise and -ize? And all the other American mis spellings? I don't mind those so long as we all agree that the English spelling is the correct one. :)

wahwahwah · 26/08/2011 11:45

I am definately against text-spellings.

Esian · 26/08/2011 12:00

I suppose publishing houses would all have to agree to enforce the standard spelling and new dictionaries printed. I imagine it wouldn't be too hard to enforce in professional written English, everyone would be singing from the same hymn sheet so to speak. Setting it up would be most difficult imo

AMumInScotland · 26/08/2011 12:42

Against - you can only have a standard if either the vast majority of people involved can see a real benefit to themselves in using it, or one group has enough power to impose their own choices on everyone else.

There is no real benefit to anyone in standardised spellings - there is no "cost" in the current situation, as we can all understand each other adequately, so what benefit would come from changing?

And the group with the most numbers and power would be the US - and I wouldn't want them imposing a standard on us!

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