Is spelling considered conventions?

Is spelling considered conventions?

What is orthography

Orthography (from Latin orthographia and Greek ὀρθογραφία orthographia ‘correct writing’)[1] is the set of rules and conventions governing the customary writing system established for a standard language.

Orthography has frequently featured in debates; the 1996 German spelling reform led to extensive debate, and was ultimately not implemented in either Austria or Switzerland. Similarly, the proposed 1988 French spelling reform was widely contested between 1988 and 1991, with some newspapers boycotting the reform.

As an artificial language, the spelling of Esperanto proposed by its creator tried to simplify the difficulties of correspondence between sound and spelling in the words of this language. Thus, Esperanto has an orthography guided by eminently phonological criteria, with each phoneme having one and only one possible spelling.

What are spelling conventions?

Spelling is the basis of good understanding. These are the reasons: Human language is a highly complex phenomenon that has been adding elements almost endlessly to the point of needing a set of rules and explanations that allow, when writing it, to understand the most complicated methodology, symbols and sounds. Orthography was born then as the most complete set of written rules and norms to understand how to write properly. Although these rules often seem arbitrary, they have a great reason for being, which is to differentiate different sounds that in oral language are confused and must be distinguished because they are produced in a different way. On the other hand, spelling is what allows one to understand what someone else writes, because if these rules did not exist, it would be impossible in many cases to understand some words. It is considered that much of spelling is basically learned by continuous reading of texts rather than by memorizing each rule.

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Spelling conventions examples

The increase in misspellings is closely related to social networks and communication platforms such as Whatsapp. This misspelling began by the attempt to abbreviate in SMS, but over time this trend increased trying to abbreviate as much as possible the message that was intended to convey, resulting in sometimes illegible texts. The problem becomes more important when we already use the way we express ourselves in our written texts without differentiating the context, most teachers have corrected exams in which the student has used the letter “x” instead of the preposition “por”, “haver” due to the union that is made of the expression “a ver”, use the “w” instead of “gu-“, and countless errors produced by the use of abbreviations in the messages.

Currently it has been observed that users of social networks do not give the necessary importance to their spelling when they make a publication, the one who writes a blog thinks that people will not stop reading his blog because he commits a spelling mistake, as long as he likes his content.    The problem is when it is not one spelling mistake, but several and this makes it difficult to read, thus proving that the packaging ruins the content of the publication. Businessman Charles Ducombe conducted an analysis of a website, whereby he observed that poor spelling could decrease sales by 50%.

Consequences of poor spelling

Spelling is, fundamentally, a social consensus. Moses did not come down from the mountain with the laws of spelling written in stone as revealed by the god of commas. In fact, all language is pure convention. The reason why we call the four-legged piece of furniture on which we place things a table and not a bee-eater is simply that we have a tacit agreement among speakers that that is what we are going to call it. There is nothing inherent in the table (or the bee-eater) that makes us call it that. In that sense, all language is pure convention. But in the case of writing, even more so. We do not acquire the ability to read and write by osmosis from the environment (as we do with spoken language), but rather someone instructs us in it. Learning to write consists of internalizing that somewhat artificial and arbitrary consensus that establishes how we will graphically represent what we say.

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