[Spellyans] More on bys/bes words and diacritical marks

Eddie Climo eddie_climo at yahoo.co.uk
Sat Jul 12 15:28:58 IST 2008

On 12 Jul 2008, at 14:40, Christian Semmens wrote:
> . . . I can also see [the diaresis] being regularly dropped from  
> normal usage by more
> competent learners and fluent speakers in everyday communications, but
> for learners this is a really useful tool to aid their learning.

A good point. It brings to mind the use in UC of the macron and the  
diaresis in didactic material, neither of which were normally present  
in ordinary usage, but could be used at the writer's discretion.

In a similar way, the hyphen was used extensively in didactic  
material, as well as in the writings of less experience users of UC,  
but much less so by more fluent writers, in such verbal constuctions  
as <a-m-bus, a-wraf-vy> and so on.

Personally, I haven't had much problem with UC's ambigous vowel  
lengths or qualities in ordinary writing, but I have found it useful  
on occasion to be able to use its 2 diacritics for brevity (rather  
than having to say, "I mean 'cok' with a long '-o-', rather than a  
short one", one can simply write <cōk>, with a macron over the vowel).

Of course, this might not always come out right in some people's e- 
mail or web programs, so ad-hockeries like <co\k> or <co_k> have  
sometimes been used instead in informal writings (and doubtless still  
will be).

> It does nothing to the sounds of the words, merely shows where there
> is a choice of spelling and pronunciation. I support this.

On balance, and with some caveats, so do I.

Eddie Climo
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