[Spellyans] diacritics

Michael Everson everson at evertype.com
Wed Feb 2 10:46:03 GMT 2011

On 2 Feb 2011, at 10:00, Craig Weatherhill wrote:

> How can diacritics be declared mandatory,

Everything in an orthography is "mandatory". In KS it's "mandatory" to spell [ð] "dh". In KS it's "mandatory" to write [kriːst] with an "i" and [kɪst] ith an "y" (Crist, kyst). In KS it's "mandatory" to write [k] as "k" before front vowels, to write it "c" before back vowels, and to write "q" before "w". And in KS it's "mandatory" to write [æː]~[ɒː] as "â" (brâs).

The rules of an orthography are its rules. 

> and hope to control that, when users will go their own way no matter what we say?  Diacritics always used to be written in loan-words into English that had them, but are now rarely seen.  Even apostrophes are disappearing from English (crazy, but true).  We would have no power of control.  Strong recommendation of their use is all we can realistically achieve.

Six Cornish letters can take diacritical marks to make pronunciation clear. 

â, à, ê, è, ë, î, ô, ò, û, ù, ÿ

These diacritical marks are important and should be learned as a proper part of the words which have them. If you write them regularly, they will help you to pronounce words more correctly, and they will help others to read what you write more easily. 

That's the "recommendation". The recommendation is that diacritics are "a proper part" of the words that have them. That means they're not "optional". It means that they're "mandatory". It means that they should always be used whenever one writes KS.

If one doesn't want to write KS, then one can go and write something else. What more can be said?

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

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