Proposal for a subtag registration (fr-2004-ORTOGRAF or fr-ortograf ?)

Doug Ewell dewell at
Fri Dec 14 07:25:35 CET 2007

Mark Crispin <MRC at CAC dot Washington dot EDU> wrote:

> I am no Francophone; but I am under the impression that Francophones 
> have a particular pride in the beauty and stability of their language, 
> and would resist any such measure more than perhaps any other culture.

While researching the various 'ortograf' systems over the past few days, 
I was surprised to read a blog entry from a Francophone lamenting the 
effect that the arcane and counterintuitive French orthography has in 
reducing comprehension and accessibility of the French language.  It did 
not attempt to defend the French spelling system as some sort of 
cultural icon or paragon of elegance.  I found it strangely refreshing.

> If this orthography is limited to the handicapped, wouldn't that 
> further serve to disenfranchise these unfortunates?  In effect, they 
> would be taught to read in a language that only they use, and the 
> language of the general public would remain forever incomprehensible. 
> Is that really a good thing?

The blind read in Braille; the deaf speak in sign languages.  I suppose 
this system is no worse, if it truly does increase literacy as the 
inventor claims.

Doug Ewell  *  Fullerton, California, USA  *  RFC 4645  *  UTN #14  ˆ

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