#2565. なぜ人々は正しい綴字にこだわるのか?[spelling][orthography][prescriptive_grammar][language_myth][spelling_reform]


 現代英語について,標準的な正書法にこだわる人々は多い.英語綴字の歴史を著わし,本ブログでたびたび取り上げてきた Horobin は,このように綴字に対する保守的な態度が蔓延している現状について論じている.だが,標題に挙げたように,そもそもなぜそのような人々は正しい綴字にこだわるのだろうか.この問題に関する Horobin の見解が凝縮されているのが,次の箇所である (pp. 228--29) .

Why is correct spelling so important? Throughout this book I have tried to show that standard English spelling comprises a variety of different forms that have developed in an erratic and inconsistent manner over a substantial period of time. We must therefore discard any attempt to impose a teleological narrative upon the development of English spelling which would argue that our standard spelling system is the result of a kind of Darwinian survival of the fittest, producing a system that has been refined over centuries. We have also seen that the concept of a standard spelling system is a relatively modern one; earlier periods in the history of English were able to manage without a rigidly imposed standard perfectly well. What is more, informal writing, as in the letters and diaries of earlier periods, has often allowed more relaxed rules for spelling and punctuation. So why should it be different for us? I suspect that one reason is that spelling is the area of language use that is easiest to regulate and monitor, and thus the area where users come under the strongest pressure to conform to a standard. Older generations of spellers have considerable personal investment in maintaining these standards, given that they themselves were compelled to learn them. As David Mitchell confesses in his Soapbox rant against poor spellers, 'I'm certainly happy to admit that I do have a huge vested interest in upholding these rules because I did take the trouble to learn them and, having put that effort in, I am abundantly incentivized to make sure that everyone else follows suit. The very last thing I want is for us to return to a society where some other arbitrary code is taken as the measure of a man, like how many press-ups you can do or what's the largest mammal you can kill'. But is correct spelling more than simply a way of providing puny men with a means of asserting themselves over their physically more developed peers?

 もう1つ,「オレは学校で苦労して綴字を覚えた,だから息子よ,オマエも苦労して覚えよ」論も,わからないではない.理解できる側面がある.だが,これは Horobin にとっては,肉体的マッチョ論ならぬ,同じくらい馬鹿げた知的マッチョ論と見えるようだ.この辺りの問題は世代間・時代間の不一致という普遍的な現象と関わっており,全面的な解決はなかなか難しそうだ.この問題と関連して,慣れた正書法から離れることへの心理的抵抗という要因もあることは間違いない.「#2087. 綴字改革への心理的抵抗」 ([2015-01-13-1]) や「#2094. 「綴字改革への心理的抵抗」の比較体験」 ([2015-01-20-1]) も参照されたい.

 ・ Horobin, Simon. Does Spelling Matter? Oxford: OUP, 2013.

Referrer (Inside): [2017-10-07-1]

[ | 固定リンク | 印刷用ページ ]

Powered by WinChalow1.0rc4 based on chalow