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13 February 2014 @ 06:37 am
I put a spell on you  
We used to hear a lot about simplified spelling. Why don't we just spell words phonetically, the way they sound? Well, for two good reasons:

1. That would cover up the subtle relationships in the derivation of words.

2. One person's clear, obvious phonetic spelling is another person's funny dialect writing.

Computers have solved that problem.

Thanx to Chronicle
fjmfjm on February 13th, 2014 12:04 pm (UTC)
1. is, however, often wrong, thanks to a preference for French, Greek and Latin antecedents in the 17th century.


ie late Middle English: from Old French cisoires, from late Latin cisoria, plural of cisorium ‘cutting instrument’, from cis-, variant of caes-, stem of caedere ‘to cut’. The spelling with sc- (16th cent.) was by association with the Latin stem sciss- ‘cut’.

is wrong.

The link is to scythe.

scythe (n.)
Old English siðe, sigði, from Proto-Germanic *segithoz (cf. Middle Low German segede, Middle Dutch sichte, Old High German segensa, German Sense), from PIE root *sek- "to cut" (see section (n.)). The sc- spelling crept in early 15c., from influence of Latin scissor "carver, cutter" and scindere "to cut." Cf. French scier "saw," a false spelling from sier