http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Propaedeutic_value_of_Esperanto

It is somewhat depressive that we do not have EO (esperanto) taught as a foreign language in all european countries. The evidence cited in this article in undeniable and overwhelming. We shud immediately put EO on the school curriculum. The good thing about it is that we don’t even need to sacrifice any time, since the investment earns itself with time. If it can help to increase enthusiasm for learning foreign languages, that’s just a bonus! Learning foreign languages does not have to consist of ludicrous memorization of which words are which gender. Yes, i hate grammatical gender with a passion. I cannot bring myself to study any language with senseless grammatical genders (this excludes scandinavian since i can do it by heart becus i’m a native).

Where are the rational politicians when we need them? This brings me, incidentally, to the next link…

Last week i think it was, i wrote about evidence-based policy. It sounds good, but, ofc, politicians have immediately found a way to fuck it up. Meet policy-based evidence making!

“[Ministers] should certainly not seek selectively to pick pieces of evidence which support an already agreed policy, or even commission research in order to produce a justification for policy: so-called “policy-based evidence making” (see paragraphs 95–6). Where there is an absence of evidence, or even when the Government is knowingly contradicting the evidence—maybe for very good reason—this should be openly acknowledged.
Paragraph 89, House of Commons Science and Technology Committee: Scientific Advice, Risk and Evidence Based Policy Making” (quote used in the Wikipedia article)

It is kinda sad. There was a case of this in Denmark some years ago. A researcher had been told to investigate whether some policy wud work, and after some time she discovered that it didn’t. The government then ignored her and the report and put the policy in motion anyway. The making of the report was apparently just a case of what the quote above is about. Unfortunately, i don’t recall what the topic was besides that it had to do with justice and harder sentencing, and the researcher was a woman.

ETA: Apparently, that was enough for me to find it via Google. http://universitetsavisen.dk/politik/regeringen-holder-eksperter-nar

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_and_British_English_spelling_differences

A good comparison between the two dialects. Since i’m planning to propose another spelling reform for english, this comes very much in handy. There are already two reform proposals to my knowledge.

The first of them (New Spelling, see my review of it here) goes very far towards a perfect fonemic system with 1 to 1 correspondence between symbol and foneme. “symbol” here includes digrafs which are necessary to avoid diacritical signs.

The second of the (Cut Spelling) doesn’t go quite as far, but still goes pretty far making it kinda difficult to read things written in it. It does so mostly by getting rid of silent or otherwise unnecessary letters.

And my proposed proposal? What makes it different? My idea is that a minimalist proposal is missing, one that exploits variation that already exists within the language (broad sense, includes english used different places) to guide the language in the right direction. So, i plan on taking a look at lists of commonly mispelled (or is it misspelled?) words and see if any of the variations are better ways to spell the respective words. So, i will focus on things such as youu, Ii.

The differences between american and british spellings are almost always such that the american ones are better. This is no surprise since they were explicitly made for that reason by Noah Webster, who supported reforms of english. Unfortunately, he didn’t get to put all his ideas into effect. Otherwise, american english wud have looked very much different from british english now. See his essay on the subject dating to the 1700s!

 

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