Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Spelling Rules are Arbitrary and Sily! [sic!]

Teh pruopse of lnagauge is to comouniatce. Sepllnig deosn't hvae to be eevn colse to "corerct" in odrer for wirtnig to be cmorpehesiblne.

Goethe and Shakespeare didn't care about standardized spelling. I don't know whether the concept even existed yet in Shakespeare's time. Some of the crackpots who dispute that Shakespeare really even existed, let alone wrote the works attributed to him --- I think he existed and wrote the works attributed to him -- point triumphantly to the fact that his signature is spelled differently in different cases. It seems they may be unaware that it was NOT UNUSUAL AT THE TIME TO SPELL YR NAME ONE WAY ONE TIME AND ANOTHER THE NEXT. By Goethe's time the idea of "correct" vs "incorrect" spelling had started to spread, there definitely were some language police around by that time, but Goethe had no use for them.

So, you believe in rigidly standardized spelling, Sparky? you think you know better than Goethe, is that it? Hm?


  1. Great article! However, we do expect people to be able to spell conventionally. I have a nice list of the spelling rules with examples and MP3s of spelling rule songs and raps to check out at Spelling Rules Songs and Raps.

  2. I know it's been 6 1/2 years since you left that comment, but -- how can you think this post is great, and still favor spelling rules?