Plog 10th August 2013 Larfing my Ours Orf

August 10th, 2013 Posted in Uncategorized

Glamour or glamor, clamour or clamor, vigour or vigor? Do we lose out by leaving ‘u’ out? I don’t know. What do you think?

I have a tea towel with the following message. It has been widely distributed on the internet since then, so you may be familiar with it:

‘European Union commissioners have announced that agreement has been reached to adopt English as the preferred language for European communications, rather than German, which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, Her Majesty’s Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a five year phase plan for what will be known as EuroEnglish (Euro for short).

In the first year, “s” will be used instead of the soft “c”. Sertainly, sivill servants will resieve this news with joy. Also the hard “c” will be replaced with “k”. Not only will this klear up konfusion, but typwriters kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year, when the troublesome “ph” will be replaced by “f”. This will make words like “fotograf” 20 per sent shorter.

In the third year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible. Government will enkorage the removal of double letters, which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling.

Also, al wil agre that the horible mes of silent “e”‘s in the languag is disgrasful, and they would go.
By the fourth year, peopl wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing “th” by “z” and “w” by “v”.

During ze fifz year, ze unesesary “o” kan be dropd from vords kontaining “ou” and similar changes vud of kors be aplid to ozer kombinations of leters.

After zis fifz yer, ve vil hav a reli sensibl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubls or difikultis and evrivon vil find it ezi tu understand ech ozer. Ze drem vil finali kum tru.’

My question today is about the hidden implications behind the subtle differences in including or excluding traditional spelling in our communication. Does the ‘our’ in vigour inadvertently create a sense of community? Does it avoid the polarised either/or? Or is that an integral aspect of diplomacy in the twenty first century? Do we want international assumptions to permeate our language?

Personally I do not have any strong intellectual objection to the time economy of text messaging. Acronyms infuriate me, however. What is your view?

A Path

Sympathising with the sufferings
of a friend is easy
The market for intimacy
often begins with complaints.
So you have the same problem too?
Then we’re linked.

However sympathising with success
is altogether another matter
especially if it is for a friend
The market for jealousy
is saturated
and often begins with a snide remark
as though the underdog
has enhanced rights
to recovery at the expense
of the top dog.

There is a path
simultaneously through
comparing and contrasting
competing and compassion
Your heart will guide you there.

© Katrina

I may follow this up with a few Plogs about symbolism in language.

Here is a hieroglyph, representing Imhotep:
Imhotep
This is the hieroglyph for an ancient Egyptian polymath, called Imhotep – interesting in terms of acronymity! Imhotep means ‘He who comes in peace’. Maybe intelligent people have a greater tendency to be humble . . . I shall have to ask them . . . Smile!
Signature
hieroglyphics-lg
email


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  1. Robbie Byrd
    18. August 2013

    This is wonderful Katrina. Thank you for the treat. I love this plog blog!

  2. Katrina
    18. August 2013

    Thank you so much, Robbie! It is great to see you here. You contribute to every conversation you participate in. Keep writing!

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