logoOgden's Basic English

by   C. K. Ogden
London, 1933


    Some ten years back, while Basic was still in the early stages, it seemed to us that there might be a use for stamps among the new forms of picture-teaching which would have to be tested by the Orthological Institute. In those days the number of picture-stamps was small, and the organization of air-posts was limited to two or three countries which made little use of the special stamps now printed for long distance flights. Even so, we were able to put together more than a hundred pictures, to which additions have been made month by month.
    More than 800 examples, making clear the senses and uses of almost all the Basic words, have now been listed, and we have the necessary authority from the Post Office to make use of them for teaching purposes: Those who are not in touch with the science and art of Philately will probably be surprised at the range of interests covered. The marketing of stamps has become a great industry. As much as £300,000 has been given for one American group which the general public has never seen on a letter-cover; there are stamps valued at more than £10,000; and Kings and Presidents are among the experts whose names are on the lips of every schoolboy.
    The fact that millions of boys and girls have been putting their pocket-money into these little bits of paper for more than fifty years, and get from them their first knowledge of history and geography, gives us a good start. No one will be able to say that the experience of teachers, which so frequently gives the death-blow to new ideas, is against the use of designs less than an inch square, because of some theory about eye adjustments in ten-year-olds. It may not be common knowledge that in Costa Rica newspapers and advertisement material go post free, but long before San Josť is even a name on the map, the faces and pictures on the stamps of Costa Rica are old friends in the houses of the European poor, who get them and the books in which they may be fixed, from any five-and-ten-cent store.
click for full size


    This is a hardback book about 10"x7" of about 180 pages of picture quality paper containing 4 or 5 B&W pictures of world stamps on each page with a Basic word and its use in a sentence or two.