Writer George Bernard Shaw was fond of pointing out that the word "ghoti" could just as well be pronounced "fish" if you followed common pronunciation: 'gh' as in "tough", 'o' as in "women" and 'ti' as in "nation".English spelling truely atrosious, says academic | Lifestyle | Living | Reuters
I've discussed "Meta-linguistics" ...well, just about everytime I talk to spiffie. His case is that the OED is a history book, not law. My case has always been that without a common framework, language <> communication. It doesn't matter if you spell or misspell "dominate" if those who are involved in the theoretical communication don't have a common point of origin. How do you know to mispell misspell with no common origin, in which case, you're just being a lazy ass-hat?
I don't consider the OED law either. I consider it a guide to common english usage. I think my bigger issue with the misuse of English, and believe me, I am the guiltiest of creating a southern lexical patois in writing, is that where do we draw that line where a word becomes common?
How you durrin? How's your momminems? Where I come from, this is common. Is this English? Yes. Is it proper? spiffie-ites would say there is no such thing as proper. I guess the crux of it is, do you want to be understood? Do you care? Do you want to be explaining yourself everytime you decide to get fancy with your "spelling"?
In psychology, we'd probably call people like me Anal Retentive. Control Freak. Having an irrational fear of being misunderstood. Severe need for popularity and social acceptance. This is what a grammar/spelling Nazi is.
But just ask yourself this: If you were learning French as an English speaker, which side do you want to be on at the end of the day? Meta or Standard OED? Language SHOULD evolve, and it does. Devolution is another matter entirely.
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