You know when was the best time to write in English?
Answer is astonishing.
It was in Shakespeare's time. There were hardly coorect and incorrect spellings.
His own name had 41 spellings and he himself used 5 of them.
God forbid, we are told that root of the problem is the first bible in English language. About 500 years ago, one was to read it only in Latin and one can be punished for printing or keeping English version.
So the first bold step was to print it in
where people knew very little English. Germany
It was a first ever book for most of the people and it became the sole primer for their reading, writing, and we are bearing the brunt today of those uncorrected prints.
In spoken English today ,
- there are some 43 sounds as against around 50 in European languages .
- But funnily enough , there about 185 spellings for 43 sounds and children have to learn this.
- More than 100 words have same spellings
- About 70 English spellings have more than one pronunciation and as a result about 2,000 words become totally un-decodable!
- There are about 100 words where pronunciation changes with their context and again ,
- about 370 words obey the doubling rule and
- some 380 words disobey it and finally,
- the silent letters are just the last straw on the camel’s back.
Generally, it takes about ten years of practice to be a good English speller or speaker.
Now we know it and must pity them if they are still learning – or admire them if they have learnt it.
Imagine the plight of about 250 million users of Facebook, MSN Messenger and Twitter and add further a few hundred millions who use SMS or text messages on their cell phones ! No wonder the following parallel NETLINGO spellings are going around in great volume :
luv U, cant w8t 2C U l8r - love you, can not wait to see you later /
With thousands of radio messages broadcast every second by aviation and military personnel round the world, with many accents too difficult for the non-natives, we have ended up with PHONETIC / SPELLING ALPHABET
|I||India||IN DEE AH|
|J||Juliett||JEW LEE ETT|
|N||November||NO VEM BER|
|R||Romeo||ROW ME OH|
|S||Sierra||SEE AIR AH|
|U||Uniform||YOU NEE FORM|
With all these headaches in spoken and written communication, one day we should not be surprised that more people will turn towards the SIGN LNGAUGE used by the hearing-impaired people. But here also there will be spelling problems. So, perhaps the best option could be "Hieroglyphs" or logograms representing words using graphical figures such as animals, objects or people, used by Egyptians some 5,000 years ago.
Or better still, would be to observe total silence as Hinduism, Buddhism and other eastern religions preach.
Or best of all would be to be born as a star or a butterfly or a flower – I suppose.