Michael Everson everson at
Tue Sep 23 15:32:44 CEST 2008

On 23 Sep 2008, at 12:00, David Starner wrote:

>> I don't believe that the orthography of the Oxford English  
>> Dictionary has *ever* changed, since you ask.
> Even accepting that the OED has never adopted a new spelling for a  
> headword, why the certainty that it won't?

It seems unlikely after 129 years. And I may remind you that en-GB-oed  
was registered in 2003.

> [IPA] specifies a writing system, a set of characters in use that  
> has had some major changes through the years.

I'm sorry, but I don't believe that this is correct. The IPA specifies  
a set of characters and the meanings assigned to them. A set of  
characters is not an orthography. The Belarusian orthographies we are  
speaking about use the same set of characters; they differ in how  
those characters. There is no analogy with IPA here. There is an  
analogy with the French orthographies, which were likewise based on  
authorities rather than other features (compare monoton and polyton).

Michael Everson *

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