Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

SPECIAL CONSIDERATIONS. 199 
means so violent a change as is generally supposed. 
Even without going beyond the commonest words in 
our vocabulary we have whole classes of words like 
machine, marine, oblique, antique, &cin which long i 
retains its Roman value. In geographical names, such as 
Alabama, Chicago, Granada, Medina, Messina, the accented 
vowels all have the Roman values. In such names as 
Isaiah, Achaia, Cairo, the diphthong also has its strict 
analytical value. Indeed, the tendency is becoming 
stronger and stronger to retain as much as possible the 
native pronunciation of foreign names. The definite 
adoption of the Romic principle by the Indian govern¬ 
ment, and the reformed pronunciation of Latin, are all 
most important moves in the same direction. 
History and Etymology. 
One of the commonest arguments against phonetic 
spelling is that it would destroy the historical and etymo¬ 
logical value of the present system. One writer protests 
against it as a ‘ reckless wiping out of the whole history 
of the language/ imagining, it appears, that as soon as 
a phonetic alphabet has once firmly established itself, 
the existing Nomic literature will at once disappear by 
magic, together with all the older documents of the 
language from Alfred to Chaucer. It need hardly be 
said that a few months' study of the language of Chaucer, 
or, better still, of the Anglo-Saxon Gospels, or, best of 
all, of both of them, would give what a life spent in 
the mechanical employment of our Nomic orthography 
fails to give, namely, some of the materials on which 
a rudimentary knowledge of the history and etymology 
of the English language might be based.
        

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