So, Joe Clark — web accessibility guru, now retired from the field — is publishing a new book. The new book is on what could be considered an obscure field, except for the minor detail that approximately 33,383,245 people deal with the subject every day.
The name of the book is Organizing Our Marvellous Neighbours: How to Feel Good About Canadian English, and the subject is the peculiarities of English spelling in (you guessed it) Canada.
The number referenced above was modified down for the French speaking population who don’t know English (3 people) and modifed up for the number of non-Canadians concerned with Canadian spelling (3). 🙂
I’m sure that there are people out there who will buy the book because they are truly concerned with the intricacies of spelling in Canadian; for myself, I’m going to buy it because it sounds entertaining.
The book isn’t available yet, but I’m sure it will be before I publish a new post (September 25th, according to certain sources), so I’ll update this post with an appropriate link at that time.
Joe Dolson; October 17, 2008 at 1:46 pm
I’m not sure that’s it’s entirely accurate to describe this as “car[ing] so much about spelling” — granted, there’s no doubt that Joe does care a lot about spelling (and all things word-related, as far as I can tell) — but in this case I think that it’s more a matter of historical interest.
Granted, if you read the preface it’s clear that Joe cares about spelling. Nonetheless, I don’t think that caring about spelling is the sole reason for this book’s existence!
Canadian English does have a very bizarre spelling environment; the question is why? How did Canadian English develop with this mix of spelling paths; some retaining the British preferences, others with a more American-type bent. (And how many Canadians actually know that Canadian English is an independent dialect?) The mixture of these spelling styles in one common usage is pretty interesting!
JackP; October 17, 2008 at 4:26 am
This isn’t one of those things where it’s a bit popeye-ish, is it?
I yam what I yam and I am de man to look after de fence …?
Out of interest then, why is one -se and the other -ce?
I always think it’s quite impressive how Joe (C) manages to care so much about spelling etc – admittedly as a UK citizen I forcibly add the letter ‘u’ into things like ‘colour’ and get snarky when I don’t see it over here – but my general ability to care about exact spelling isn’t that high. However if you start apostrophising (is that a word? possibly more importantly for JC, should I spell it with a z or an s?) plurals, I’ll come down on you like a ton of brick’s.
Joe Dolson; September 25, 2008 at 9:48 am
Oh, darn. I was off a bit. There’s a vague possibility I didn’t research that thoroughly… 🙂
Joe Clark; September 25, 2008 at 8:14 am
Damn you, Dolson! There are only 18 million speakers of Canadian English! How dare you exaggerate.