I gather you are agreeing with me. Such rules do "make possible"
exclusions of those who do not know them; but they have other
reasons for being created and sustained. Is that your point?
On 3 Sep 2002, at 11:06, Carrol Cox <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Nancy Gish wrote:
> > This whole discussion is based--if I understand it and I am
> > not at all sure I could--on the totally false idea that language "rules" have
> > no function or purpose other than to play elitist games.
> > Nancy
> Sounds right to me. Whatever the _original_ source of spelling
> regularization was, as soon as achieved it made possible much more
> efficient or powerful arrangements of data, and just in time because the
> quantity of information needed to survive day by day began to increase
> rapidly just at the time the ordering made possible by (among other
> things) regularized spelling emerged. Computer searches, incidentally,
> _do_ have to be somewhat flexible, and can be, as has been explained --
> but who in their right mind would enjoy or appreciate looking up a bit
> of information in a card catalogue, a dictionary, or an encyclopedia
> under half a dozen different spellings.
> We get through the day successfully because we do _not_ have to think
> about most of our choices. Mechanical rules simplify living and make
> possible time spent on choices that are worth extensive thinking.
> Incidentally, a fairly regularized spelling must have become established
> in the late 17th century, because in the first couple decades of the
> 18th century various writers are using misspellings to carry
> information, which couldn't have happened with the loose spelling
> practiced by Shakespeare, Donne, & Milton. About 60 or 70 years ago
> Helen Darbishire wanted to make a big interpretive point out of the
> occurrence of "he" and "hee" at various places in _Paradise Lost_ -- but
> that kind of "symbolism" wasn't available yet in 1665 (even ignoring the
> fact that Milton being blind could have hardly proofread spelling).