Name: Kim
Age: 21
School: UCI
Men have called me mad; but the question is not yet settled, whether madness is or is not the loftiest intelligence --- whether much that is glorious- whether all that is profound --- does not spring from disease of thought --- from moods of mind exalted at the expense of the general intellect. -- edgar allan poe

« Ethical Standards: Part One | Main | Support Positive »

July 21, 2005


Linguistics: Things that amaze me

Today I'm taking a break from ethics (though I plan to have a further discussion on that in the future -- your comments are positively intriguing) and taking a dip into linguistics.


So I was thinking the other day about the power of written communication.  It's amazing to me that with simply twenty-six letters, 10 numbers and some auxiliary punctuation marks we can communicate to each other in such a full manner.

The most striking thing to me is that we do not even need to always use the 'correct' manner of spelling things to be able to communicate with each other because of the power of phonetics.  (This, to me, is most evident in all of the teeny-bopper pages out there.)

For example:

"OMg! i <3 jo0! u r de hawt SHIET kim!"

There are only two words in that sentence spelled correctly -- one is a one letter word, and one is my name.  Also, the word "you" is spelled incorrectly twice.  However!! Amazingly enough, through the power of phoenetics and symbolism most of you will understand that sentence -- and even more amazing, some will find it as easy to read our native English.


Which started me thinking about how we are SO good at understanding multiple forms of our own language simply through sounds that we can even make entire sentences out of single letters.

So far, the ones that I've been able to come up with, or have seen are "O, I c" , "A! F u!" and the classic, "I O U".

It totally amazes me every time, how malleable the human mind is.

What are your favorite methods of alternative spelling? ... and how far do you think we can go, before it ceases to be communication?

(Go nuts guys, this is the one and only time I'll accept people who 'rItE LyKe diS!!'*~~!)

Posted by Kim at July 21, 2005 10:13 AM


You may want to check out CDB by William Steig, it's a book that consists of nothing but word puzzles. He also has a book called "CDC?"

"For the uninitiated, "C D B!" translates to "See the bee!" Other letter codes are more challenging, such as the boy leaning on a tree saying "I F-N N-E N-R-G" or a droopy decrepit man slouching in a chair labeled "O-L H."

Posted by: Ben at July 21, 2005 02:59 PM

Post a comment

Remember Me?

(you may use HTML tags for style)