posted on May, 19 2011 @ 02:22 PM
In college, I had to check younger students in and out of the dorm. There was a checklist for the condition of various items in the room and I had to
write "good" about 25 times per sheet. After a while, the word "good" just does not look right, probably because you end up focusing on the
letters so much.
Our brains are used to focusing on the words themselves as units, so when you force your brain to look at the actual letters - one by one - and also
seeing as how English spelling tends to be quite far removed from any standard pronunciation scheme, your brain starts to realize these
inconsistencies and flags them as needing attention.
This is why we run into homophones as problems (its - it's; there - they're - their; etc.) because our brain recognizes them phonetically as the
same, even though meaning is different.
English is due for a spelling reform soon. It's starting to change too much, diverging even further from the spelling. Consider:
Famly for family
Comfterble for comfortable
Gonna for going to
Probly for probably
Not to mention the fact that we have at least six different ways to pronounce the letter "t" in American English:
1. tree - sounds almost like "ch" in church
2. butter - sounds exactly like the "dd" in ladder, or the Spanish "r" in Peru.
3. tomorrow - sounds like a really puffy, aspirated "t"
4. cotton - not the same as butter, sounds like a catch in your glottus, like a sound in the Arabic language.
5. fate - sounds like the catch above, but less pronounced, almost totally unpronounced really, changing the tone on the "a" that comes
before it (compare with that same "a" sound in "fade", which is more drawn out)
6. winter - in words like this, the "n" totally swallows the "t"'s pronunciation for most people in the US so that this word is a
homophone of "winner"
Of course not all people in the US speak the same way - from Boston to NYC to the deep South and up through the midwest to Chicago and beyond - but
just listen to the way many people say these words and words like them and you will start to see that the language is really nothing it seems to be
when written on paper. Almost how modern Chinese has only vestigial clues to its pronunciation for the average native speaker schooled in the