[Spellyans] Criticism

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Wed Feb 25 10:30:49 GMT 2009

I resigned from C24 the other day. It was wasting my time. I'll go  
back to it to announce more publications. A word, however, to our  
"nemesis" Keith Bailey, with whom some of us have jousted for three or  
four years.

On 15 Jan 2009, at 11:52, Keith Bailey wrote:

>> Michael Everson said:
>> I asked you a question. You were courteous to me. Then you attacked  
>> me in public, again. Why? Never mind "why should I answer you?".  
>> Why were you courteous to me and then nasty again a short time later?
> I have no personal animosity towards you.

I don't believe you, Keith. Just yesterday on C24 you suggested on a  
public forum that I shìt my books out of my arse. In what way does  
this not display "personal animosity"?

> What happens on C24 is 90% politics, as you must realise. Well maybe  
> you don't?

That is no reason for such incivility.

> In any case you appear to be a little over-sensitive at times.

My my. Is taking offence a the kinds of abuse you fling at me "over- 

I think I know the answer. It's something you said nearly two years ago:

On 13 Mar 2007, at 14:29, mongvras wrote:

> You are not just a bunch of pathetic losers, you are a bunch of  
> PATHETIC BAD LOSERS! You deserve no respect.

I think you should look in a mirror. You and your friends refused to  
talk with UdnFormScrefys about a Fifth Form. You insisted that the  
Commissioners should examine all of the materials sent to them. (We  
sent them dictionaries; I am sure you did the same. We sent them our  
personal statements; I am sure you did the same. You've complained  
that they did not engage in follow-up discussion with you, but we had  
the same treatment.) Ken would not talk to us about a Fifth Form  
because he wanted KK to have its day in court. It did. It was not  
chosen, and a Fifth Form was.

Then you managed to get 4 KK supporters onto the AHG, balancing 2 UC/R  
supporters and 2 RLC supporters, and you managed to succeed in  
refusing *me* a place amongst the 2 UC/R supporters (despite the fact  
that the Commissioners said each group should have the RIGHT to choose  
whom they wished), AND you managed to even prevent me from turning up  
to give a short discussion of the principles of KS. You were very  
successful there. And you created a hierarchy where KK's "aesthetic"  
glyphs are "Main" and the "Traditional" form contains forms which are  
not traditional. I suppose you have noticed that even despite Bock and  
Bruch's waffle in the SWF spec, KK's bogus phonology is pretty much  
off the table.

And it *is* bogus. There's not a shred of fortis or lenis in the  
English dialects of Cornwall; even had it been there in the earliest  
Middle Cornish, bilingualism and Sprachbund erased it pretty quick,  
probably about the time that fortis /N/ broke into pre-occlusion  
because English learners of Cornish couldn't manage /N/, and here even  
Jenner says that pre-occlusion must have been spoken long before it  
was written.

Yet you hold these unpronounceable consonants to be sacrosanct, a goal  
to be aspired to, even though your own teachers don't use them and  
don't teach them because it's unnatural to them.

You think *KK phonology* is more important than good books and  
authentic grammar. You think *KK phonology* is more important than a  
credible Cornish phonology which unsurprisingly is not unrelated to  
the phonology of English in Cornwall -- just as it must have been in  
reality. You scrape the bottom of the barrel trying to find reasons to  
dislike beautiful new publications like "Alys in Pow an Anethow" and  
"Adro dhe'n Bÿs in Peswar Ugans Dëdh". It sure makes you look  
"pathetic", if not a "loser", or even a "pathetic bad loser".

I asked the Commissioners for a proper Orthography Congress, where  
your linguists and our linguists would be put in a room and told to  
devise a Fifth Form with a design brief based on identified  
requirements. We got the AHG instead. I think that had we all been put  
in such a room, we would have come out with something a lot like KS,  
since we would have been forced to accept that realism in phonology  
makes better sense than impractical reconstructivism. Oddly, Keith, in  
July of last year you criticized the Gorseth for being linked to "some  
imaginary past full of druids and celtic myst" yet your attachment to  
George's Bretonized phonology is little more than "anything-but- 
Englishism" based on the same Celtic-myst befogged fantasy.

Will the penny drop, I wonder? Probably not. You probably will never  
give up the idea that the Kesva should "run" the Revival, that  
geminates should drip off the tongues of Cornish schoolchildren, and  
that "in whir" is Cornish. You'll probably stew away angrily I feel  
sorry for you, because it's your attitude which perpetuates the split  
in the Revival. You oughtn't go blaming us. You ought to look into the  
mirror and see who the loser is.

We were all losers already. We chose it. We gave up UC and UCR. For  
something better. It was worth it.

I don't hope for a conversion from you Keith. It would be splendid if  
you could surprise me. Think what wonderful books we might make if we  
all worked together.

But I imagine that what I've written is more a fit of spring cleaning  
than anything else.

Back to work. I've got books to publish.

Michael Everson * http://www.evertype.com

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