Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Standard memberbill718
    Enigma
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    11 Dec '15 18:38
    The English language is a strange thing. i.e. 1. Why do overlook and oversee mean opposite things? 2. Why isn't phonetic spelled like it sounds? 3. Who decided pseudo should be spelled with a "p" in front? And the list goes on...It's no wonder we need years of classes just to be able to understand this language
  2. Joined
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    11 Dec '15 19:28
    Originally posted by bill718
    The English language is a strange thing. i.e. 1. Why do overlook and oversee mean opposite things? 2. Why isn't phonetic spelled like it sounds? 3. Who decided pseudo should be spelled with a "p" in front? And the list goes on...It's no wonder we need years of classes just to be able to understand this language
    Nah ! it's not that hard to learn, I was only three . 😉
  3. Germany
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    11 Dec '15 19:40
    Originally posted by bill718
    The English language is a strange thing. i.e. 1. Why do overlook and oversee mean opposite things? 2. Why isn't phonetic spelled like it sounds? 3. Who decided pseudo should be spelled with a "p" in front? And the list goes on...It's no wonder we need years of classes just to be able to understand this language
    How many languages do you speak? The sort of features you are describing are certainly not unique or particularly common in the English language.
  4. Joined
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    11 Dec '15 23:02
    Originally posted by bill718
    The English language is a strange thing. i.e. 1. Why do overlook and oversee mean opposite things? 2. Why isn't phonetic spelled like it sounds? 3. Who decided pseudo should be spelled with a "p" in front? And the list goes on...It's no wonder we need years of classes just to be able to understand this language
    Who decided that color should be spelled colour?
  5. Standard memberwolfgang59
    Mr. Wolf
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    12 Dec '15 00:58
    Originally posted by bill718
    The English language is a strange thing. i.e. 1. Why do overlook and oversee mean opposite things? 2. Why isn't phonetic spelled like it sounds? 3. Who decided pseudo should be spelled with a "p" in front? And the list goes on...It's no wonder we need years of classes just to be able to understand this language
    Because English assimilates words from other languages so easily we have
    a wealth of interesting words. In particular words from Greek have "weird"
    spellings and old Scandanaivian (i think) words such as knot, gnaw etc..
  6. Standard memberwolfgang59
    Mr. Wolf
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    12 Dec '15 00:58
    Originally posted by Eladar
    Who decided that color should be spelled colour?
    Webster.
  7. SubscriberAThousandYoung
    iEn guardia, Ingles!
    tinyurl.com/y43jqfyd
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    12 Dec '15 01:55
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    Because English assimilates words from other languages so easily we have
    a wealth of interesting words. In particular words from Greek have "weird"
    spellings and old Scandanaivian (i think) words such as knot, gnaw etc..
    -ight
  8. Standard memberRJHinds
    The Near Genius
    Fort Gordon
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    12 Dec '15 02:151 edit
    Originally posted by bill718
    The English language is a strange thing. i.e. 1. Why do overlook and oversee mean opposite things? 2. Why isn't phonetic spelled like it sounds? 3. Who decided pseudo should be spelled with a "p" in front? And the list goes on...It's no wonder we need years of classes just to be able to understand this language
    English is easier than French and Spanish in which words are often in the wrong order and you have to contort your tongue to make strange sounding words. In French, a dumb blonde is an ice cream sundae. Now that is weird. 😏
  9. Standard memberwolfgang59
    Mr. Wolf
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    12 Dec '15 10:34
    Originally posted by RJHinds
    English is easier than French and Spanish in which words are often in the wrong order and you have to contort your tongue to make strange sounding words. In French, a dumb blonde is an ice cream sundae. Now that is weird. 😏
    Spanish is far easier than English, French possibly a little.

    French, Spanish and English all have words for dumb Americans.
  10. Cape Town
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    12 Dec '15 11:362 edits
    Originally posted by bill718
    The English language is a strange thing. i.e. 1. Why do overlook and oversee mean opposite things? 2. Why isn't phonetic spelled like it sounds? 3. Who decided pseudo should be spelled with a "p" in front? And the list goes on...It's no wonder we need years of classes just to be able to understand this language
    The meanings of compound words is a very different topic from spelling.
    There is a very good case for revising English spelling to a much simplified purely phonetic version. It would for a start make a massive different to education. Many children are held back in school for no other reason than that English spelling is complicated (and unnecessarily so).

    There are however downsides.
    1. It would mean that during the change over everyone would need to know both systems.
    2. Even after the changeover reading historical texts would require learning the old system.
    3. Organizing a global changeover would be almost impossible. There would almost certainly end up being regions of the world that refuse to switch.
    These are of course not insurmountable challenges, and computers would make it vastly easier. The majority of our text consumption is now done by computer and translation by computer would be trivial and not nearly as difficult as translation between languages.
    Lessons could be learnt by looking at mainland China which simplified their writing system for similar reasons. It it of particular note that Taiwan and many overseas Chinese communities did not switch. Also many Chinese can now not read historical documents - and the advent of computers is resulting in them often being unable to write even the simplified characters without the aid of computers. Some may see all this as a loss of culture etc, but ultimately I think they were correct to simplify the characters and the benefits outweigh the costs.

    On a side note, it is nearly time to stop teaching handwriting in schools. It is no-longer an essential art-form and takes up way to much of a child's time. At a minimum, typing skills should receive more focus than handwriting.

    edit: It must also be noted that a change in spelling system would be a far simpler change than a change in language. Given that many countries around the world have successfully made English their primary language it is clear that such large scale changes are possible.
  11. Account suspended
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    12 Dec '15 13:30
    Originally posted by bill718
    The English language is a strange thing. i.e. 1. Why do overlook and oversee mean opposite things? 2. Why isn't phonetic spelled like it sounds? 3. Who decided pseudo should be spelled with a "p" in front? And the list goes on...It's no wonder we need years of classes just to be able to understand this language
    Actually overlook has two meanings that are somewhat the opposite of each other.
    It can mean to fail to see or consider something, or to look down on something from above.
  12. Joined
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    12 Dec '15 14:22
    Originally posted by bill718
    The English language is a strange thing. i.e. 1. Why do overlook and oversee mean opposite things? 2. Why isn't phonetic spelled like it sounds? 3. Who decided pseudo should be spelled with a "p" in front? And the list goes on...It's no wonder we need years of classes just to be able to understand this language
    who decided there should be a g and an h in night
    who decided that knight also deserves a K

    why does aisle have an A and isle doesn't?
  13. Joined
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    12 Dec '15 14:25
    Originally posted by bill718
    The English language is a strange thing. i.e. 1. Why do overlook and oversee mean opposite things? 2. Why isn't phonetic spelled like it sounds? 3. Who decided pseudo should be spelled with a "p" in front? And the list goes on...It's no wonder we need years of classes just to be able to understand this language
    YouTube
  14. Account suspended
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    12 Dec '15 16:47
    Originally posted by Zahlanzi
    who decided there should be a g and an h in night
    who decided that knight also deserves a K

    why does aisle have an A and isle doesn't?
    That's what makes English so awesome.
    Who decided that clothes (something you wear), close (as in shutting the door) should be pronounced the same, and close (as in something near) should be spelled the same but pronounced differently?
    Or that weigh and way should be that way?
    Or that than and then should be so hard to decipher?
    Or to, too, and two?
    I think it's done to keep the stupid people easily recognizable.
  15. Standard memberRJHinds
    The Near Genius
    Fort Gordon
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    12 Dec '15 17:36
    Originally posted by wolfgang59
    Spanish is far easier than English, French possibly a little.

    French, Spanish and English all have words for dumb Americans.
    Spanish is backward and racist.
    For example, "hombre negro" means "black man"
    😏
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