Sunday, November 8, 2009

About linguistics

So, this blog claims to be linguisticky, but I never talk about linguistics. Well, folks, heres a tasty morsel.

I edited the last post like 5 times because my spelling is bad. My spelling wasn't always bad, and it has ironically gotten worse since I started studying linguistics. I don't care too much; orthography, especially English orthography, is kind of arbitrary anyway. Then again, it can make you look like an uneducated idiot if you can't spell.

Anyway, like I said, I blame linguistics.
  • First, it has instilled in me the idea that orthography is arbitrary.
  • Second, and more importantly, it has taught me about voicing. A lot of my spelling mistakes involve mis-voiced consonants. Consonants are either voiced or voiceless (all vowels are voiced) and a lot of them come in pairs. Try it - /f/ & /v/, /k/ & /g/, /p/ & /b/, /t/ & /d/, /s/ & /z/, /θ/ & /ð/ (as in "thanks" & "these"). The first one in each of those examples is voiceless, the second is voiced. Put you hand on your throat as you sound them, you will feel a vibration for the voiced ones and nothing for the voiceless.
I must sound out words as I type, and my fingers, attempting to hit the right key, occasionally pick the oppositely voiced consonant. A minute ago I wrote "stable" instead of "staple"...go figure.

I aboloshise now for any mizzbellinks.

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