In recent years, some linguists have turned again to ideas of linguistic relativity. Linguist Lera Boroditsky, at the University of California at Santa Cruz, has done research showing that members of the Pormpuraaw Aboriginal tribe think about time passing differently than English speakers, because their language relates it to cardinal directions instead of from left to right . Yet some still say that Arrival goes too far: “they took the hypothesis way beyond anything that is plausible,” linguist and cognitive scientist Betty Birner said of the film in an interview with Slate .
Three centuries of Norman Conquest resulted in the English spelling being greatly influenced by French. English had also borrowed large numbers of words from French, keeping their French spelling. In addition, English underwent some sound changes. For example, The Great Vowel Shift resulted in igh of night changing from a vowel followed by a velar fricative to a diphthong. The spelling of the word night , however, did not change. These changes caused inconsistencies, like the many pronunciations of ough (rough, through, though, plough) . George Bernard Shaw once joked that one could spell fish as * ghoti ( gh as in enough , o as in women , ti as in action ).