Thursday, March 21

Yesterday's Sweet Clarity post from 'Stefpun' about the American spelling 'nite' and David Crystal's '-ough' sentence* reminds me of the AmE word 'donut', which in turn always calls to mind the BrE expression 'to do one's nut' (as in 'Bloomin' 'eck, 'e didn't 'arf do 'is flippin' nut!') -- OED: 'to become angry, lose one's head; to be worked up about something; to be crazy' . . . And à propos Richard Wade and his 'freespeling' campaign (www.freespeling.com) -- also discussed in SC yesterday -- if you start simplifying orthography, where on earth do you stop? The logical conclusion would be to write 'do' as 'doo', 'read' as 'red' and 'reed', 'was' as 'woz', 'says' as 'sez', and so on . . . until our lovely language ended up hung, drawn and quartered, looking more foreign (or forin) than Polish and jam-packed with, not jam (like the proper doughnuts of my youth), but armies of ambiguous homomorphs to boot**.

/end of rant for the nite/

* 'Though the rough cough and hiccough plough me through, I ought to cross the lough' ('lough' being an Irish lake, pronounced like the Scottish 'loch').
** Besides; 'boot' here comes from the OE word for 'remedy' (bot).