linguistic shenanigans and writing tidbits
~by Joel Patton
English pronunciation surely requires a doughty constitution . Imagine for a moment a world in which English spelling followed simple, logical rules, such that even a nonspeaker could tell at a glance how a word is pronounced.
And keep imagining it, because that shit will not happen.
Here are a few reasons why:
As with the QWERTY keyboard, we’re stuck with an odd system for historical reasons. It would be hard to fix things now, even if we could all agree on a solution  . There are a few historical reasons for these insane and nonsensical variations of pronunciation and spelling. English spellings were standardized centrally, by late-medieval bureaucrats, more or less by fiat . The influence of French, which has fourteen different ways of spelling no sound at all at the end of a word , has continued nearly a thousand years past the Battle of Hastings. At some point, English stopped anglicizing the spellings of foreign words . The Great Vowel Shift happened . Continue reading