Friday, November 22, 2013

A BUZZARD EGG OMELET #26






My wife and I play SCRABBLE almost every day with lunch.  I am not a great speller, so she usually wins.   As I lay out my words I am constantly reminded how fucked up our written language is.   I feel that language in most cases is to communicate and as long as the central idea is transmitted all the petty mechanics are like thorns on a rosebush: unnecessary. 

For instance, I would drop the requirement for a U following a Q: Qeen – Qack – Qake – Qeer all seem to work fine.

And the letter C bugs me.  Why the hell do we need a C in our alphabet?  You could easily replace it with a K on 90% of the words and it would sound the same - and K is a prettier letter.   On the few words where C doesn't sound right an S would work fine. 

Once you start playing SCRABBLE regularly you can see the possibility of cutting down our alphabet from 25 to perhaps 16 or 18 letters.

When I taught creative writing to my students in Alaska I never corrected their spelling.  I wanted them to write – to get their ideas down on paper – to enjoy telling a story – to write write write, and not be inhibited by the fear of being criticized for their misspellings.   The final edit is what spell checkers are for.  


The Ol’Buzzard 

3 comments:

  1. I'm the world's worst Scrabble player but a good speller. See? It makes no difference.

    ReplyDelete
  2. OB,
    Writing is becoming a lost skill - People are used to texting and email. I seen Jr officers who could not prepare a simple memo for record.
    We sent every new officer on wing staff to the USAF Effective Writing Course.


    Ron



    ReplyDelete
  3. I've always said that English is a piece of crap.

    ReplyDelete

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