Ted Talks: Why Don’t We Write Words The Way We Pronounce Them?
Do we need new spelling rules given that a lot of time kids are losing a lot of time at school with spelling? While everyone else may not have an answer to this question, Karina Galperin believes in stipulating new rules or better still simplify what is currently in use. They have been around for the longest century; since 1492.
The phonetic approach of spelling which has been bouncing around from century to century is no longer present. A decision was made to standardize our writing in the 18th century. Another reason for the decision was the entry of etymological approach, whereby the writing of words had to be in their original language, in Latin, in Greek.
But what is the purpose of spelling? What do we need spelling for?
More often than not, we have used spelling to unify the way we write. Hence we all write the same way, which makes it easier to read. However, spelling does not incorporate individual expression like punctuation does. The rule is; it is either wrong or right. This explains further the need for simplifying the current rules to make it easier to teach, learn and use spelling correctly.
A language is a tool of common usage, hence using it from a common criterion is fundamental. At the same time simplification of spelling will not make the language suffer in any way. In any case, spelling serves as an index of privilege in today’s society. This tends to separate the likes of the educated from the ignorant and the cultured from the brute.
Language changes spontaneously but not the spelling
Language has always involved teachers or people, especially in the early learning as they promoted spelling reforms. That means its users are responsible for incorporating new words and introducing grammatical changes. However, while this may true from a certain level of lexical, it is less true on the grammatical level and is likely to be completely untrue for the spelling level.
As a result of social networks, writing is going through a revolutionary change. We see a lot of chaotic, individual usages on social networks. However, Galperin says that the success of every spelling reform lies in caution, agreement, gradualism and tolerance. Attachment to old customs must be a no go zone because they will impede us from moving forward.