It's driving me crazy

David Ehrlich
Fri, 25 Nov 2011 16:01:54 PST
I can understand.  When I studied Japanese, many years ago, I learned the old 
form of the Chinese characters.  A friend of mine at the U.N. studying Chinese, 
learned the new character shapes.  When I showed her the characters as I had 
learned them, she was very excited -- "the old form tells you so much more about 
the meaning and pronunciation; the new form is just a shorthand for the 
character, devoid of information."

David E.

From: Jim McKenney <>
To: Pacific Bulb Society <>
Sent: Fri, November 25, 2011 9:18:15 AM
Subject: Re: [pbs] It's driving me crazy

Jim McKenney is
struggling with the annual postprandial Thanksgiving distresses, so don't
expect the last word here, only a comment.
Fitzwilliam Virginal Book, a collection of keyboard pieces assembled during the
very late sixteenth century and early seventeenth century (the book antedates
the eponymous Fitzwilliam by several centuries) contains a charming piece
called The "Fall of the Leafe"; it was the first harpsichord piece I
learned. The contemporary American name for the season is probably just a
shortening of this phrase.
and autumn no doubt reflect the ancient tussle in the English language between
our Germanic (Frisian) roots and the later Romantic imposition. It's another 
example of
the hog and pork thing. 
"gray" one of Noah Webster's orthographic innovations? The huge
disparity between the pronunciation of English and the spelling of English
makes our language a very difficult one to learn. Almost seventy years have not
been enough for me to truly master English spelling. Yet most educated people
seem to strenuously resist spelling reform (i.e. change to spelling which
reflects the pronunciation of words). I think I'm one of them: spelling tells
us so much about the history of words. Folk etymology aside, it's a worthwhile
and gratifying lifetime pursuit for me.
I need another Alka-Seltzer...
Jim McKenney
Montgomery County, Maryland, USA, 39.03871º North, 77.09829º West, USDA zone
My Virtual Maryland Garden
Webmaster Potomac Valley Chapter, NARGS 
Editor PVC Bulletin <> 
Webmaster Potomac Lily Society

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