Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Accented Letters in English

To help with pronunciation and to make words look more exotic
  (+5, -9)
(+5, -9)
  [vote for,

For too long, our language, English has been the laughing stock of all the other languages. Our letters are stale and too overly simple. Where are the dashing strokes of oriental scripts? Or even the simple decoration provided by the accent marks, which are all the rage in Europe.

I mean which word looks more exciting: horse or hörse? For me, and I’m sure many others, it’s the latter. Of course I could also argue that it makes it easier to pronounce, but to be honest I don’t even know the correct pronunciation of an ‘o’ with 2 dots over it. However with a vigorous education program put into place by the government I’m sure I would learn.

The most of important thing in my opinion though is that it looks good and adds a bit of spice to the English language. It could also be just the ticket to stardom. Hollywood loves a quirky name and what better name that Jöhn Tråvøltâ

What’s more, it would make spelling bees much more challenging, as the contestant would have to spell out the letters as well as identify the correct accent marks.

sputnik, Jun 15 2001

Accented Reading Alphabet http://www.tysto.co...1/20040226ara.shtml
I baked this a while ago before seeing this entry. [ConsultingDetective, Oct 17 2004]


       Really? I thought the etymology of 'naïve' was French. Sure it's used in English, but I wouldn't really call it English. The same would apply to 'déjà vu'.
sputnik, Jun 15 2001

       That Jöhn Tråvøltâ looks like h4x0r-speek, and we've got too much of that as it is.
StarChaser, Jun 15 2001

       While the "base" English language uses few, if any, accents, the USian version is adopting a lot of words and expressions from other languages. You'll be hard-pressed to find an american who's never heard of a burrito or taco, and harder still to find an american halfbaker who doesn't know what a croissant is. Still, I think the ones with accents are generally shunned because they are more difficult to type.
nick_n_uit, Jun 15 2001

       Not to mention "résumé", favorite of pretentious jobseekers everywhere.
egnor, Jun 15 2001

       PeterSealy's right about the dieresis, though. Another example is the word "coöperate" (or "coöp"). The accent indicates that the second 'o' is to be pronounced independently. If you don't use the dieresis, you often have to write "co-op" to be clear.   

       Other examples: Chloë, reënter, coäx, etc.   

       (For the confused: the dieresis is written the same way as the German umlaut (seen in such words as Möbius) but it is a different diacritic.)   

       As an occasional pedant, it sometimes pains me that this mark has fallen out of use.
wiml, Jun 15 2001

       No crofts in northeast Scotland, only bothies. But the Swedes, bless 'em, do take advantage of the cheap flights to Aberdeen. And while we're at it, Gaelic has all sorts of very random accents which contribute to the spoken language bearing very little resemblance to the written words. Even without accents, who would have thought that (a mountain) "Ben Chonzie" should actually be pronounced "ben-a'hoan". I give this idea my most sincere pastry, because <ramble> I believe accents would make it much easier to write in the dialects of the various regions and countries to which we belong. Not one English language but several, each made individual by their use of little dots and slashes. Removes the need for script direction to be constricted by "with North-West English accent", but the accents printed there could more accurately reflect the mixture of dialects that make up each of our speaking styles. Hurrah for diversity! </ramble>
lewisgirl, Jun 15 2001

       A friend of mine came up with the idea of English++, which was basically english but with every word from every other language included. If you can't say it in English++ then it can't be said.
lubbit, Jun 15 2001

       [Mephista]: If you run your Windows Character Map application, you'll see what key combination you need for any character available in each font. (I'm assuming you're running Windows - if not, I can't help.) Character Map will be in Start-Programs-Accessories.
angel, Jun 15 2001

       I admit to not having figured out how to type non-ascii marks on my keyboard yesterday either; I copied and pasted, and ran some text through 'tr' to get the ones I didn't have.   

       Mephista: Unfortunately the Latin-1 character set (the one we're using, it's the default character set for web pages) doesn't contain either of those characters. Other character sets do, but there's no way to switch to one inside a page. Jutta would have to rewrite the site to use Unicode, or something like that.
wiml, Jun 15 2001

       <recoils in horror> This all looks suspiciously foreign to me. I'm distraught. We English have spent centuries trying to crush the life out of all the other languages. Cornish, Welsh and Gaelic are only clinging on to existence by their fingertips - and that's just because of a few malcontents and trouble makers. We'll soon put a stop to their little game. And your (oops! sorry! 'you're') next on the list sputnik. Good, sensible, English spelling. That's what the world needs. Things have gone badly down hill ever since we lost India <rambles incoherently into a glass of brandy for ten hours>.
DrBob, Jun 15 2001

       [DrBob]: No, no, no. Cornish did actually die out, but is now undergoing a very strong revival; there are schools in Cornwall offering Cornish as an examination subject, and the Gorsedd Kernow (the Cornish Assembly of Bards) has a huge international membership, most of whom have been admitted 'par apposyans an taves Kernewek' ('by examination in the Cornish language').
Welsh and Gaelic (in Scots and Irish forms) have never been even close to dying out; in fact many communities have always used these as their first languages. Manx is spoken by a few enthusiasts, Breton is widely spoken (there's a huge nationalist movement in Brittany), similarly with Galician.
angel, Jun 16 2001

       There's a Gaelic speaking Primary school in Glasgow.   

       [There is a word in Gaelic for the second dram of whisky that you have before breakfast]
[ sctld ], Jun 16 2001

       In the works of Shakespeare, one will frequently find an accent grave over the "e" of an "ed" ending. For example, when Romeo bemoans the fact that he was "banishèd", the grave over the "e" indicates that it should be pronounced, resulting in a three syllable word.
supercat, Jun 30 2001

       [sputnik] // Where are the dashing strokes of oriental scripts? //
"The Orient."
// Or even the simple decoration provided by the accent marks, which are all the rage in Europe. //

       They ain't us and we ain't them, bub. (No charge.)
The Military, Jun 30 2001

       [supercat]: The main reason for the è is so the word fits the metre of the line. The two-syllable version would usually be written 'banish'd'.
angel, Jun 30 2001

       Yeah we should use the Vietnamese range of printed characters. Very visually appealing.
LoriZ, Jul 06 2001

       I'm not sure what would be gained by this: English spelling is only fortuitously phonetic. (It's esentially etymoglyphic.) OTOH, I do admire the picturesque look of Icelandic.
bsey, Jul 31 2001

       In any language, "àáâãäåèéêëìíîïðñòóôõöøùúûü" is the sound made when one stubs a toe in the middle of the night.
thumbwax, Jul 31 2001

       lubbit: // A friend of mine came up with the idea of English++,//   

       Let's see, that means take English and improve it, but use the old (unimproved) version?
supercat, Feb 13 2002

thumbwax, Feb 13 2002


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