Our Alphabet

Discussion in 'Evolution of Language' started by Corie Henson, Aug 18, 2015.

  1. Corie Henson

    Corie Henson Very Well-Known Member
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    Our local alphabet is composed of these letters...

    a, b, k, d, e, g, h, i, l, m, n, nga, o, p, r, s, t, u, w, y

    That made our language simple with the pronunciation because all we had to think of was the T or the P since we do not have the TH sound or the F or the V and any other letters that can make life harder for our mouth.

    However, there was a change in the alphabet lately and I am lost. They say that the 20 words are now 25 with the inclusion of the letters F, V and some others that escape my mind for now. The Filipinos are confused particularly those already out of school like me. It's really true that you can be left behind by the times.
     
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  2. Pat Baker

    Pat Baker Well-Known Member
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    English is a hard language to learn to non English speaking people because of the vowels, when I studied Spanish I learned how hard it is for some people to learn to speak English. Trying to not get left behind by the times is a hard job, trying to stay current with the tech on computers and cell phones is something I spend a lot of time on, I will never learn all the things my smartphone can do.
     
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  3. Tom Locke

    Tom Locke Very Well-Known Member
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    One of the many problems of the English language is that we do not use accents. It's very hard for anybody to know how they should pronounce words without accents. Addle rhymes with paddle, but not with waddle. The 'l' in should is silent, but not in shoulder. There are millions of other examples.

    On the subject of the "th" sound, this is uncommon in many languages and not necessarily present even for those with English as a first language. Most Irish people speak English as a first language, but there is no "th" sound in the Irish language and if you asked most Irish people to say the word "theme", it would sound like "team". So if you hear an Irishman say "tree fellers", the chances are he's talking about three men rather than some chaps who are chopping timber!
     
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  4. Ike Willis

    Ike Willis Very Well-Known Member
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    Why do we need the letter "C"? In some words it has an "S" sound, like the word cemetery. In other words, a "K" sound, like in can't. And "X" has no use. "Extra" could be spelled "ekstra". No need for the letter "Q" either, as it makes a "K" sound.
     
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  5. Tom Locke

    Tom Locke Very Well-Known Member
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    This is exactly how the Cyrillic alphabet works. Well, maybe not exactly, because there is a C but no S, the C performing the soft S sound and the K catering for all K and hard C sounds. The same concept, though and much more sensible.
     
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  6. Jennifer Graves

    Jennifer Graves Active Member
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    I the US, it seems like te young ones are the ones being left behind. If you look at a class syllabus you'll find out that the educatio our children got isn't anywhere near as good as we got. Sometimes I meet children who surprise me they can even read. It absolutely blew my mind when 2 high school seniors had no idea what "monotonous" means.
     
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  7. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    I was the program chairman for the emergency medical technology program at a state college in Texas, and at a community college in the same state; at the same time, actually. When I gave a test, I would note the questions that a large number of the class missed in order to determine whether I hadn't covered that material well enough or if there was a problem with the wording of the question.

    More than eighty percent of one of my classes missed a question about the things that might interfere with radio reception. The answer that I was looking for was "dense foliage," and that was the wording used on the state certification exam that they would have to take in order to be certified to practice as an EMT, so I couldn't change the wording.

    When I asked the class about the question, I learned that only a few of them knew what "foliage" was, and nearly half of them didn't know the definition of "dense." Admittedly, this was in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, where English is not often someone's first language.

    I included the question on my next test but inserted an explanatory text in parentheses.

    D. Dense foliage (a lot of brush and trees)

    I am guessing that they all got that question right on the state exam,
     
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  8. Carlota Clemens

    Carlota Clemens Well-Known Member
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    I had lost this thread, to which I would like to toss this thought in; young people simplifying even further the alphabet regardless the place they come from.

    You would probably have read all those messages out there on the web where they omit absolutely all the vowels, and those that substitute a full word for the nearest sounding matching like UR for "your," "yours" or "you are."

    Too sad from my standpoint.
     
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  9. Hannah Davis

    Hannah Davis Active Member
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    In another post I talked a bit about the words it's and its, what a fun three letter words those are. It's easy to get them messed up, and for that matter the apostrophe in words can be confusing at times, sometimes it means possession while other time it's condensing words such as in the case of it's this could be it is. Then there are the way some words are pronounced and the different ways it's done. Such as with the suffix ough, how many different words us it such as cough, rough, through, yet the words can have different ways they are pronounced. I can see why some can be confused when learning the English language I grew up with it and can get confused at times.
     
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  10. Tom Locke

    Tom Locke Very Well-Known Member
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    We also have words like "alternate" where they are pronounced differently depending on their usage.

    "We work on alternate days" and "We alternate between days" have different pronunciations depending on whether you use the word as an adjective or a verb.

    This kind of thing makes English a difficult language. There are a lot of anomalies, as evidenced by the discussion about "it's" and "its". A possessive is usually indicated by an apostrophe, but not in this case.

    We even have words that have opposite meanings. "Cleave" can mean to split apart or to stick together - completely opposite meanings.
     
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  11. Diane Lane

    Diane Lane Very Well-Known Member
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    When I first moved down here, I had a pretty thick Boston accent, and my co-workers would make fun of me. I'd get them back by asking them how to pronounce words like Dorchester, Gloucester, and Worcester, and make fun of them when they mispronounced the words.
     
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  12. Carlota Clemens

    Carlota Clemens Well-Known Member
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    Having them pronouncing those words had to be funny, particularly because accents across the United States can be so different from one region to another.

    What brings to mind a Briton friend of mine who said that in London it was hard to understand one another due to the many dialects in the island and the use of these mixed with regional accents and confusing words as some of those already noted, LOL
     
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  13. Diane Lane

    Diane Lane Very Well-Known Member
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    Oh yes, and when I moved here, it was a boom period in the petrochemical industry, so the natives weren't all that happy with the 'invasion' of Yankees. I took a lot of ribbing, because I was a dispatcher, so everyone got to hear me. Even throughout New England the accents vary, but we could pretty much understand one another. The ones I have the most trouble with are Cajuns. I was dating one, and I would just nod and say yes whenever his dad spoke, I had no idea what he was saying half of the time.
     
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  14. Carlota Clemens

    Carlota Clemens Well-Known Member
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    Oh my, it has to be troublesome if you were saying "yes" when the expected answer could be "no" or else, LOL

    Problem I find with Cajun is the strange-to-my-ears derivation of French words people in the Cajun region use, but as opposed to what my friend says, sometimes I understand better the British accents than the American accents, probably because I was raised listening to "impeccable" English used in most American movies of the Hollywood's golden age.
     
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  15. Tom Locke

    Tom Locke Very Well-Known Member
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    Understandable, but a lot of British people don't understand other British people. Accents across the UK vary enormously and sometimes it can be hard for people to understand somebody who comes from only a few miles away, particularly when the speaker comes from a rural area. It's not so much the use of dialect words, just the strength of the accent.

    I'm reminded of the story of a miner from the north-east of England who had a bad leg and went to see the doctor, who was a southerner.

    Doctor: Are you able to work?
    Miner: Wark? I canny even waaalk!
     
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  16. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    When I first moved to Maine, I couldn't understand people who had a heavy Maine accent. Now, I barely notice the accent.
     
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  17. Ike Willis

    Ike Willis Very Well-Known Member
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    Since I've become a professional listener, I notice, and laugh at, some of the strange ways people talk. Take silent letters in some words. It makes no sense they even be there. Making even less sense to me, are the people who try to pronounce them. Take the word "when" for example. I say "wen". Quick, simple and completely understandable. Some people try to use each letter, because it's there, I guess. They'll say, "hwen". I laugh. They look at me and say, "hwat"? I laugh even more.

    Then there's the wobblers. Those poor folk either nod their head up and down as they talk, or shake their head side to side. Some of the more confusing ones are saying something positive, but shaking their heads sideways. It's as if they're agreeing and disagreeing at the same time.

    When I get really bored with TV or the 'net, I watch people talk to each other.:D
     
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  18. John Falcon

    John Falcon New Member
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    Iterate means to utter again, or repeatedly. So, why do some people use the word reiterate ?

    This could go on and on and 0n................:eek:
     
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  19. Sheldon Scott

    Sheldon Scott Very Well-Known Member
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    Good to see you here John.

    while in most cases such as accurate an inaccurate have opposite meanings the words flammable an inflammable mean the same thing.
     
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