Archive | November 2012

The oddness of phonetic english

Last week someone gave me a really unusual book: Edition 11 of Decimal Clasification and Relativ Index by Melvil Dewey. Which is interesting because it is written in phonetic English.  The library at my employer was having a clear-out and this was one of the books destined for the skip. Or something.

I’m not really an advocate of phonetic English because I think that English spelling is charming. The oddness and inconsistency amuse me.

But language is dynamic and spellings and usage change. That’s how it should be and it happens naturally.

The introduction is written with as many changes as could be and the rest of the book with more minor changes. According to the introduction this is to ease the changes in gently so they would be more readily adopted by the general public. But I guess it never really took off.