This Kottke guest post got me thinking about Raelyn and her newfound reading skills.
She’s at the point in her understanding of the written language that she can sound out some basic words, easily spell and recognize the names of her family members and yearn to know more.
The kid, trite as it sounds, is a sponge for knowledge and I want to teach her ALL I can about the wondrous world of the English language.
Then I think about Ghoti and it makes me want to cry.
Now I’ve always been one to joke about 1066/The Norman conquest “ruining everything” but that’s mostly me proving I’m a semi-literate, quasi-intellectual douche.
In reality I like English as messy and as come-as-you-are as it is. Sure it’s a disgusting hodgepodge of everything that influenced it, but would it be as “universal” as it is if it didn’t have the reputation of being as inclusive?
Sure, you could write me off as being an Ugly American for digging on English (bad grammar, punctuation, spelling and all) but you’d be wrong. Fact is (or, rather, conventional wisdom that I’ll pass off as linkable, Wiki-style fact) there will be more Indian English speakers – put another way: speakers of Indian, not American, English – by the year 2020 than American English speakers.
Make sense? Don’t quote me. I’m paraphrasing a paraphrase.
So while I think what we have is a convoluted mess, it’s our convoluted mess and I wouldn’t change it for the world.
My two cents.