What's wrong with being wrong? Seems rather unfortunate to
me to avoid speculation based on what one knows, just to
avoid being wrong. Since lives on being wrong.
Why do there need to be rules for variation?
What is wrong with open-ended exploration?
If the written language in all its incredible variations and
off-shooots could last for a millenium without a lexicon,
why does it need one now, after only three centuries?
Conventions are not the same things as standards.
An e on the end or not is irrelevant. A double consonant
is irrelevant. The demands of sound would be the guide,
not the demands of the lexicon.
Chaucer can seem pretty difficult when first experienced as
writing, but once the oral dimension is introduced, all the little
pfennigs tend to drop into place.
Seems pretty straightforward to me.
Is there a fear of loss of power through loss of control here?
Dare we let ordinary people take back the language for themselves?
Guess what? It doesn't matter. They're doing it anyway.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Nancy Gish" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Friday, April 07, 2006 9:23 PM
Subject: 'Tyger' and 'Vrka' (Was: 'Mind forged menacles' (sic) and
I don't know the answer to your question because it has been too long since
I studied Anglo-Saxon, and I would not go by the texts I have since they may
be too dated. I only know that at the time we were required on exams to
place texts by geography and date on the basis of spelling and lexicon, and
we were given only a few lines at a time. That does not suggest wide
variation in individuals. And I do not "suspect" anything because it is a
matter of linguistic history which could be checked to the extent that we
have texts, not just opinion.
In any case, our disagreement is over the notion itself that there is
anything particularly individually creative or freeing about spelling by
personal choice. I see nothing freeing about it: as others have well
stated, it is only by contrast to a standard that any variation has effect.
If there is only random variation, there is no way to make distinctive
effects and thus no particular free creativity either.
I pointed out that TWL is all in standard spelling, but of course there is
the one variation of "that "Shakespeherian Rag." The impact of that is due
to its difference from "Shakespearean" and its syncopated rhythm. (One can
do a triple time swing step to the whole phrase, and Eliot apparently liked
to dance though Vivienne did not think he was all that good at it.)
You said in another post that no one is talking about just random spelling
variation, but you have not described or defined any form of structured or
meaningful or limited variation. Whatever is "the point"? What, other than
pronouncements of personal opinion, supports your "point"?