So Much Nearer
Towards a World English
- part b
Half of this doubt turns on the question of vocabulary. There is a very prevalent belief that good use of any language is a matter of the quantity of the words in it which are available and employed. For a non-generalizing and non-analytic language (could there be such a thing) this view would be correct; the number of the words we know would be a measure of our command of the language. But, as we all know, it is not the quantity of the words we are acquainted with, but the quality of our understanding of them, which matters. The chief vice of foreign-language learning (and indeed of much native-language learning) is picking up words without learning quite what they mean, accepting them with indefinite and vague meanings that thereafter obscure their real uses from us. Basic, through its analytic procedures can avoid this danger more thoroughly than any other mode of introduction to Complete English. For the Basic learner's understanding of the next 10,000 words grows out of his understanding of the first few hundred. He thus follows a natural course -- that largely followed in his learning of his native language. The new words come to him through their meanings as explorable through the words he already knows, not as supposed equivalents to words in his native tongue which may, too often, be only very remotely and occasionally equivalent.
The other half of the fear that Basic may be an obstacle to Complete English concerns syntax. The best answer to it that I know is in the words of Confucius, "In hewing an axe handle, the model for it is in our hand." In going on to the whole range of English syntax, the Basic user has the model for it in his mind, he has all the essential types of construction already at his command. I have not seen any argument to show that the Basic learner, here, has any greater difficulty to face than, say, a pupil who has done First Year French going on to Second Year French. And though this fear has been vigorously proclaimed in some quarters, the fearers have not yet made any attempt to point out wherein the Basic learner is in any different position from that of any learner of any other language whose complete mastery must go by stages. In point of fact the transition from Basic toward Complete English has now been made very smoothly and comfortably by countless learners.
Let us turn now to consider the kind of strict critical examination and questioning of meanings that translation into Basic tends to promote. I will take a short passage of prose, about the meaning of which for the average reader I have more than usual information since I have at various times obtained Non-Basic paraphrases of it from some 200 students at Harvard or at Cambridge. Although, when carefully examined, it is seen to be discussing a point of importance, a bare four per cent of my paraphrasers, though invited to comment on its content, found anything there to remark on. From a similar set of Basic paraphrasers, however, I got plenty of severe-enough comments. The passage is from an article in The New Republic thought sufficiently weighty to be reprinted in China, where I first read it. Here it is :
In brief, the educational significance of modem social development is to emphasize the need for a liberated intelligence. This in turn requires, first, a reorganization of educational agencies so that theory may operate freely on the level of practice, and, secondly, a consideration of the question of whether and to what extent we are willing to accept the principle of a free intelligence as a basis for our social outlook or philosophy of life.
Now let us see what happens with a Basic translation :
To put it shortly, the effects of developments in society on education make dearer (greater) the need for minds which are free (which have been made free).
These we will not get without, first, a new organization of the ways (instruments, workers) in education, by which theory may be put into use (may become a guide to our acts) without trouble (being stopped, waste). And second, it is necessary to give an answer to take up the question : Are we ready, and how far are we ready, to take the free operation of thought as the general rule controlling our outlook on society (as men in society) or our theory of what is right (our beliefs, our ideas, and acts).
I chose the passage in part to show the peculiar resolving power of Basic applied to a confused utterance. It does not so much reproduce any one meaning as offer us a selection of possible ingredients in the meaning. I hope that this specimen will further show the extent to which the writing of a Basic version of a passage of Complete English is an exercise in Complete English -- not merely in Basic. So, the process of learning Basic, for native English speakers, is, from the beginning, work-of a kind which no present-day school-tasks provide -- on Complete English. After a very little practice, the difficulty of writing Basic versions ceases altogether to be a difficulty in finding Basic turns of phrase and becomes a difficulty in deciding just what the original is, may, or might be saying. The work becomes, that is, very nearly a pure exercise in interpretation. From this point of view it is useful to compare it with those exercises which have in the past been of the most service as training in interpretation -- I mean translation from and into Latin.
The chief effect of having two or more alternative modes of expression for almost the same meaning together before the mind and of pondering them is, of course, to heighten and clarify our sense of both; which is why translation is such a valuable educative device. But where one language (say Latin) is very imperfectly known -- merely as a syntactic system quite apart from any more recondite ways of knowing it -- this effect is apt to be lost. So translation from and into Latin, in the earlier stages of learning Latin, is not an ideal way of learning English. The two purposes of the exercise, (1) as a means of studying the meanings and (2) as a means of learning the Latin, get in one another's way.
Where both languages -- as with Basic and Complete English -- have once been mastered, as far as concerns control of their superficial syntax, the work of translation soon becomes almost wholly a training in examining and comparing meanings, and it can be made to bear directly and undistractedly on the question "Just what is being said?"
Despite an opinion that used to be widely entertained, the struggle to acquire command of strange and difficult syntaxes is not in itself an especially valuable exercise. The "insight" into the forms of thought that it was supposed to give is nowadays thoroughly discredited. Mill's view that Greek and Latin are uniquely valuable disciplines to the intellect, as being so complicated and regular, with his notion that grammar is "the beginning of the analysis of the thinking process"7 were already out of date when he put them forward. Far from being valuable initial disciplines, the acquisition of strange syntax patterns by the rule and rote application of grammatical distinctions are probably, for numerous types of learners, actively stultifying -- as many teachers have maintained. At the least they distract attention from the more important work of discriminating between meanings.
The value of translation into Basic varies with the type of passage translated. Apart from its use for the normal needs of international communication, travel, business, etc., translation is most instructive with passages of expository or argumentative prose dealing with semi-abstract subjects. And it is least helpful with passages of emotional evocation concerned with special local objects and activities which employ large numbers of specialized means. Thus a sentimental reverie over a cricket match would be about the worst example we could choose, and to put into Basic even a simple remark about a linnet fluting in a myrtle bush would not be a profitable exercise. It could be done, but the effect of the Basic version on the bird-lover's ear would not be that of the original remark. Descriptions of local activities, however, belong to a type of writing in less need of improvement in regard to composition or interpretation than any other. No one runs much risk of misunderstanding perceptual descriptions -- if he has had the necessary experience -- and without it he will fail to understand in any case. But we all run some risk of misreading any semi-abstract argument. And the breakdown will not, commonly, be due to the difficulty of the thought as thought. It will come from the indefiniteness, the embarrassing richness and variety of the possible meanings that
may be borne by the medium, and our lack of practice in taking conscious account of them in interpretation. No educational instrument can be equally effective in all fields. Basic is aimed to assist at the weakest points, at the points where interpretation most needs to discriminate, to clarify and to increase control and order.
I have been outlining some of the reasons for thinking that a limited analytic language on the model of Basic may have a peculiarly important future before it both as a medium by which Western thought may be introduced to Chinese and other students in the East and in Africa more successfully than at present and as an instrument in clarifying thinking in schools everywhere. These two uses may be taken together because the essential problem is the same in both of them : how to induce and to maintain a discriminating examination of meanings. Local conditions in China, the circumstances touched on above, enormously magnify the difficulty of this problem, but they do not fundamentally change its nature. The juxtaposition of the two illuminates them both. We shall not see the perils that would come from the breakdown of traditional Chinese culture, and the powers of the possible remedies, unless we make every effort to see them in terms of our own problems and our own experience at home. And to have seen our own troubles enlarged and exaggerated in the Chinese scene may help us in turn.
As a teacher of English at Cambridge, with decades of experience of similar conditions at Harvard, I feel some confidence in saying that our mast careful and expensive methods of teaching people how to read are, judged by their results, at present almost ludicrously inefficient. This is no place to present evidence in quantity to show that a large proportion of candidates for Honors in English have not learned to read.8 The fact can, however, be demonstrated without the least difficulty. I printed a large collection of representative evidence some decades ago in Practical Criticism and, more revealingly, in Interpretation in Teaching for prose; and F. L. Lucas, on the basis of his extensive examination experience, added valuable corroboration in his essay in Cambridge University Studies.
In saying that these products of our present methods of studying English have not learned to read, I am not taking some impossibly high standard of impeccable intelligence and discernment, by which a reader would know how to interpret everything he read. I have no "fluent speaker" (p. 97) in mind. I mean no more than this : that they have not learned how, when they sweep perusing eyes over a passage of prose or verse, to ask themselves whether or not they have understood it, to ask reasonably relevant questions about its meaning in order to arrive, rightly or not, at an interpretation that can be defended by reference to the text. Something seems to be missing in Literary Education, some training in careful interpretation which would accustom readers to distinguish between guessing at the meaning of a passage and looking for it seriously.
Most school or university study of English literature is controlled -- as we know to our grief -- by more or less distant examinations. This, we must for the moment assume, is unavoidable. Our problem is how we are to make the examination influences as little pernicious as possible. Examinations are of one or other of two types :
They are either tests of information about authors, books, tendencies, influences and so on -- in other words a specialized form of history, in itself by no means so valuable as other kinds of history and only worth acquiring as an aid to intelligent reading.
Or they purport to be tests of capacity to read intelligently. And this is the weak point; for it is in practice extremely difficult to devise questions about a student's reading which are not an invitation to him or her to expatiate in original or recollected judgments on the merits and qualities in general of the works in question. As Mr. Lucas feelingly observes, "One grows tired of reading denunciations of Meredith's prose (not that I wish to defend much of it) by writers who, on their next page, will attribute to him a piece by Sir Philip Sidney." He remarks, "The great and outstanding difference between a paper in English and a paper in Classics remains that the first asks for opinion after opinion -- estimates of Burke, estimates of Johnson -- from people who a year or two ago were still at school. What wonder if maundering is the result?" Again "Imagine a young person called on to acquire in two years, or often in one, a knowledge of English Literature from 1300 to the present day, including certain set books of prose, poetry and criticism; a knowledge to be tested largely by his or her ability to extemporize, in thirty-five minutes each, opinions of given books or authors, or opinions of someone else's opinions of them."
Lest it be thought that the mere haste under which examination answers are scribbled will account for the misinterpretations and the maunderings, and that the defect does not lie much deeper in a lack of proper training in reading, let me cite a few, alas! not unrepresentative~ passages from a student who has had ample time to consider what he is saying. I will take them from a recent book, which is typical enough to remain anonymous. It was published by a famous university press in a series of studies in comparative literature, with a preface adorned by distinguished academic names to whom the author offers his thanks "for reading the manuscript" and supplying "valuable criticism and advice" as well as "inspiration and encouragement." The book is about the interactions of Science and Poetry; and this is part of his account of what seventeenth-century Science did to seventeenth-century Poetry :
If the spirit of the age tended to make some of the poets analytical~ they desired, nevertheless, to bring a certain order out of chaos. Note William Walsh's questioning analysis of love :
Lest it be supposed that I have merely picked out a place where something has gone wrong with the page, here is another example :
'Love is a medley of endearments, jars,
Suspicions, quarrels, recondilements, wars;
Then peace again, Oh would it not be best
To chase the fatal poison from our breast?'
Along with the growth of science in the seventeenth century went an increasing tendency to question many values which had merely been accepted before. About the middle of the century Robert Herrick declared :
Values which had merely been accepted before! And here, from the philosophic preliminaries, is a third specimen :
'Putrefaction is the end
Of all that Nature doth entend.'
"Many of the Romanticists . . . feel -- and surely not without cause
-- that the analytic method of the scientist tends to destroy beauty of expression, while the procedure of generalizing and abstracting deprives poetry of its concrete and sensuous qualities. This is also the attitude of the philosophers Schopenhauer and Croce."
They might as well be invoked to maintain that boiling vegetables deprives them of their freshness !
The point I have to make with these quotations is, briefly, this : That the difference between a mind that can solemnly pen them, or read them through without agreeable spasms of irony and malice, and a mind that can see what they are saying is a life and death difference. The writer is a product of a certain kind of training in literature. We catch him at a moment when he is passing (with a Ph.D. thesis) through the gates that let him in to a lifetime's work in giving the same kind of training to a succession of other minds in their most susceptible years, and it is demonstrable that he does not know how to read even fairly simple writing. He treats of the most serious matters. The first sentence of the first extract seems fit indeed to stand as an epigraph to any study of poetry in any changing age -- pre-eminently our own. But as we read on we see that the words do not even make up such a platitude as may be mistaken by a tired research worker for a discovery. By the example we are invited to note, they are reduced to a string of dominoes, mere phrases which the rules of the game permit to be placed end to end. And the example! No suspicion that love-squalls are a perennial human interest that no spirit of any age could alter. The writer cannot possibly have thought that the shock of science was required to make a poet perform such "a questioning analysis of love." He was not thinking about the meaning of the verses at all, nor about what he was saying, otherwise the remedy by which the poet proposes "to bring a certain order out of chaos,''
Oh would it not be bestwe may nowat least queer.
To chase the fatal poison from our breast?
The "fatal poison in this critic's breast is the same as that in the breast of the average examinee and of the Chinese student. As I 'said before, it is psittacism, the habit of using words without attention to their meanings.
"I used to think it the object of English to make people well read," Mr. Lucas says. "I have come to see that its aim must be to teach them how to read. They have the rest of their lives to read in." Alack ! Thirty years have shown us that, unless they become teachers or publishers or editors or reviewers, students of English don't read more than they can help. Yet the aim of teaching them how to read remains what it was. What are the possible lines on which this aim may proceed? All. I believe, who are aware of the extent to which both prose and verse are currently misread even by seemingly well-qualified readers are agreed that training in some form of paraphrase or gloss is the best remedy for it. But the use of paraphrasing in schools is often so unsatisfactory that we may well feel that the remedy brings in as many evils as the disease.
Paraphrases in general divide into two types. There is the
paraphrase that merely replaces the words in the original with
rough synonyms, leaving all the doubtful parts of the meaning unillumined. This exercise of shuffling synonyms about is merely deadening to whatever germs of interpretative capacity may exist in the student. It may be agreed that the less he is subjected to it the better.
But the alternative is almost as bad. Here to write a paraphrase is to compose another passage made as nearly as possible a rival to the first. Rarely tried with a prose original, with poetry it is an invitation to write another poem -- in prose -- on a partially similar theme. As such, it is an exercise whose effects are often very far indeed from an improved comprehension of the original. This is the kind of paraphrase the more promising kind of pupil usually produces and he deserves our sympathy.
For the terms of the task set him are something of an outrage on his sensibility. He is given an original which presumably he respects; he is asked -- under the unfair condition that he may use none of the best words because these have been used already by the original poet -- to build up a duster of words, which will, so far as he can contrive, be an equivalent. The better reader he is, the more closely will he realize that what he is being asked to do is something not only presumptuous but impossible and absurd.
The exercise of writing a Basic paraphrase escapes all this. We are there playing a game : giving under strictly binding rules and conditions as accurate a representation as we can of the meanings of the original. But no one will expect our version to achieve a perfect translation. It is not claimed that a passage of Ruskin or Shakespeare can be reproduced without loss in Basic, or with that (rather remote) fidelity with which a good French version will render it. Sometimes, indeed, and with a frequency which is to many people at first surprising, passages of great English writing will be found to be already almost in Basic. A comparison of the Basic version and the Authorized Version of the Book of Ruth provides a striking example. But in general
our poetry and our more ornate and elaborate emotive prose are not reproducible in Basic. Shakespeare has single lines in Basic :
Making the Greene one Red
for example, but the line above that
The multitudinous Seas incarnadine
defeats a Basic version, if from that version we expect anything like the integral effect of the line. But, and this is another point at which a misunderstanding of the purpose and use of a Basic version is extremely likely to occur, no such expectation is invited. Its use is quite other. Though it cannot reproduce the total effect, it can, item by item, display as many of the ingredients of sense which go into producing that total effect as any other analytic medium, and as clearly. The space, the notion, the expansion, the coming on of the waves without number and without end; the shock when the idea of blood is joined with that of water, "water, water, everywhere," and the way the Seas seem not only to be colored with the blood but themselves to become Seas of blood; all this with the suggestion in incarnadine, so full of fear and so deep-rooted in the part of the mind which is not conscious, of a living existence that is suddenly given to the waste of blood; all this may be put (I have been writing in Basic since the word medium ) as completely, if not as delicately, as in any other language.
What are difficult to describe in Basic are not the ideas which may be divined in and extracted from the original but the nuances of feeling which result from them and from such other factors as the rhythm. But in any exposition these are difficult to display; and there is, I believe, a very strong case to be made for saying that the exercise of attempting to describe them .is not a valuable one. It too easily becomes a debauch, an outflow of unregulatable sensibility. The valuable exercise is the analysis, the tracing out of the sense items, the ideas and their articulations -- for these are a main part of the springs of the
effect. To study them is to penetrate to the body of poetry; to describe effects is to play with shadows.
The typical instruction for a Basic exercise, I may accordingly suggest, should be this : "Make a Basic version; then, in normal English, point out where and how your Basic version fails (if it fails) to do justice to the original, and if it distorts it, say how." By such an instruction we should avoid the danger of the Basic version being supposed by the more weak-minded or ill-advised pupils to be "just as good" or "really what the poet ought to have written, or meant to say, if he had not been wanting to make it look pretty."
We may now consider what changes in the design of Basic English are likely to be proposed as a result of the varied and extensive use it has received. The chief of these concerns Ogden's treatment of verbs. Basic English is not the only instance of a design for which it is the very feature that most appealed to the designer, as his best contribution, that later seems most to need changing. His policy with verbs was to Ogden his master stroke, the step which made Basic English possible. On many copies of the Basic English Word List he even managed to squeeze in his NO 'VERBS' claim with the following model statement : "It is possible to get all these words on the back of a bit of notepaper because there are no 'verbs' in Basic English." Naturally enough, it was this claim which most of all drew attention to Basic and this feature which more than any other aroused opposition.
What Ogden did was this : Guided by some suggestions from Jeremy Bentham, he selected a minimal set of verbs, come, get, give, go, keep, let, make, put, seem, take; be, do, have; say, see, send; may, will, which could -- in conjunction with other words in Basic -- substitute for (take the place of) all the other verbs in the language. As the punctuation suggests, these verbs fall into four groups. The first ten (come to take ) are names of irreducibly simple acts. Seem somewhat resists this classification or indeed any description. It is easiest to think of it as complementary to be. (We seem wise and good perhaps; we are perhaps foolish and bad.) But the others name what we do, or what things do, and between them they cover our doings, and the doings of things, in a peculiarly comprehensive fashion. Into the meanings of other verbs comes some component able to be carried by one or more of these operators (as enter, for example, has a meaning of come in, and meditate has a meaning which may be carried by give thought or take thought ). And this is what has been meant by the claim that Basic has "no verbs." Its use of these super verbs or operators allows it to dispense with the rest.
Next come be, do and have, which get such a lion's share of the work in English either as full verbs or as auxiliaries. Then come say, see, send. These are luxury conveniences in Basic and not strictly indispensable. We could cover their uses with other Basic words. When we say something, we put it into words; when we see something it is in view or we have it before our eyes; when we send someone we make him go, and so on. But these periphrases would be awkward, and these three words are of such general utility that it is better to have them on the list. Lastly come may and will, auxiliaries of possibility and permission, and of futurity.
An immensely strong case can be made for this extremely drastic restriction of verbs as a design for early stages in learning English as a second language. These are the verbs which can do most work in the language. They are verbs which must be mastered in any case if the learner is to attain any real competence. This plan gives them early an extraordinary amount of exercise : at first in situations which make their meanings enactively, visibly and pictorially clear and unambiguous. Later come extensions. It is here that the argument for revision arises. Why not, both for paraphrasing purposes and -- after a certain stage -- for the foreign learner, use as verbs all the general words and the Basic List that admit of such use? There are some two hundred that may be so used though in strict Basic they are nouns only : account, act, air, answer, attack, attempt. . . . And
there are useful verbs contained in Basic nouns : addition, adjustment, advertisement, agreement, amusement. . . . There are others still, such as argue (argument), attend (attention), behave (behavior), believe (belief), which are no trouble to the English speaker -- though they give a learner something further to note and remember.
What results from this redesign is of course a language much nearer than Basic to standard English, a language easier to speak in and to write (for the native), but harder, to an undetermined degree, for the learner. It is commonly proposed further that can and must (not Basic words) be added, along with varying numbers of others : ask, bring, buy, find, think, and so on . . . to yield a language which would still be restricted but would seem until analyzed to have almost the full powers of normal English.
It is not hard to see that in terms of the four aims above, this suppled-up Basic would differ little in coverage (1). It would be far more acceptable (2). As to ease of acquisition (3), it might well cost more than double the toil for equal coverage. This last point could without great trouble be determined by experiment Appraisal as to (4) : Insight into meaning, on the other hand, is a far more tricky matter, not in the least so readily settled. Those who have done most work upon this question and had most opportunity to compare pure Basic and verbed-up Basic as media for paraphrase are far from certain about the balance of advantages. Judgment in the matter turns on a very great number of minute analyses made with varying success by students of varying ability. What seems to emerge is that while it is undoubtedly easier to write paraphrases in verbed-up Basic, the degree of insight into the original which results often seems to be markedly less. The higher cost in time and toil of the more restricted Basic version seems for many to be repaid in superior understanding.
A policy that on the whole seems recommendable may be stated as follows :
(a) For the learner entering English, when a secure command of the Basic eighteen verbs has been attained in their physically enactable, depictable uses, go out from Basic into verb uses of other words through already acquired Basic phrases : start saying "He changed it" for "He made a change in it" or "He got it changed." A habit of explaining the new through paraphrase in the old can thus be built into the expansion of the learner's English.
(b) For the English speaker, joint use both of verbed-up Basic and of pure Basic with as much comparison between the versions as can be undertaken.
(c) Another step of redesign for Basic seems desirable. It goes along with much needed cultivation of pictorial literacy. There seems no reason to attempt to limit the intake of words for which a simple picture, or sequence of them, can unambiguously present the meaning. Ogden's category of pictured things, his 200, would thus lapse. Many of them would, of course, come in early for a beginner as means of expanding and exercising his sentence-situation command. But there would be no attempt to make him learn them ahead of his need for them in his use language.
As a medium for paraphrase, the vocabulary resulting from this last enlargement would seem to have great advantages over pure Basic. In place of the question, "Is this word on the List or not?" we have "Is this thing depictable?" The gearing of language into actuality is thereby increased. And the responsibility of deciding whether or not the paraphraser sufficiently understandsput where it belongs, on him.Attention is directed to where it is most needed in controlling the structure of the meaning in place of being dissipated over points of no consequence, which nonetheless can waste much time and trouble.
Paraphrase -- though I have given it here such prominence -- only one of a wide range of exercises which the use of a selection from English on the model of Basic suggests. The detail of the study of the advantages and disadvantages of one type or another of limitation; the arguments for the inclusion of this or that word or family of words, of this or that construction; sorting games with the Word Lists; the collection and classification, for example, of nouns that work as adjectives too; hundreds of investigations into what words can and cannot do; how they support and control one another; the varieties of opposition; the limits of analogy . . . . there is no end to the invitations to exploration set on foot by this representation of a whole language through a part. Nothing more naturally prepares the mind to cultivate its powers of systematic reflection than these word-games which are in fact nothing less than inquiries into how meanings serve one another and how they serve and are constrained by reality.
The dissatisfactions with customary "English" studies touched on above are bitterly felt the world over. They are reflected in the fluctuations of pedagogic views of 'grammar' as well as in much energetic searching for new curricula for "English" to match those, from which so much has been hoped, for Science and Mathematics. It may be that what has been sought, as Socrates discovered of justice (Republic, 432BC), "has been rolling under our feet from the start" and that we have been "like people hunting for what they hold in their hands."
But the new curricula to be designed have duties more ambitious and more exacting than those they must replace. It is not only 'English' that is failing us; the roots of an elementary school "Mental and Moral Philosophy" have been left unwatered and the real sources of our cultures starved. As the preceding essays have tried to suggest, our thought and our means of thinking, though distinguishable, are interdependent. The way to recover a truly elementary education (one which provides, nourishes and liberates the elements) is through the same experimental curiosities as to how language works which give the child speech. But when he comes to writing let us give him sequenced explorables -- to sustain and encourage in him the concept of an intelligible world.
In closing this discussion of the design of a World English we may remind ourselves again both of the growing scope of man's powers and of the need for clear and firm decisions as to what such powers should be used for. There is an analogy between the conception of a world order and the design of a language which may serve man best. The choice of words for that language and the assignment of priorities among their duties can parallel the statesman's true tasks. And it is through what language can offer him that every man has to consider what should concern him most. If rightly ordered, and developed through a due sequence, the study of English can become truly a humane education.' May not such a language justly be named "EVERY MAN's ENGLISH"?
NOTES AND GLOSSES.
(6) Basic English : International Second Language, by C. K. Ogden,
edited by E.C.Graham (Harcourt, Brace & World, 1968), includes his
Basic English , The ABC of Basic English ,
and The Basic Words.
Dr. Graham's Basic Dictionary of Science (New York, MacMillan, 1966),
published in England as, The Science Dictionary in Basic English ,
and The General Basic Dictionary are invaluable resources in work
with restricted forms of English.
(7) analysis of the thinking process : from his Inaugural Address at St. Andrews, 1866. As Henry Sidgwick said :
"Translation is continually straining and stretching our faculty of language in many ways, and so necessarily imparts to it a high degree of vigor; but the precise power that will be of most use to us for the purposes of life, it does not, by itself, give, and it even causes us to form habits adverse to the acquirement of that power." (Miscellaneous Essays and Addresses, pp. 281-297. Quoted by Sir Philip Hartog, The Writing of English, p. 88.) This objection, valid against translation from or into foreign languages, lapses, I believe for the reasons given, as against translation from and into Basic. See further my Interpretation in Teaching : on Mill's view, Chapter 17; on Basic, Chapter 11.
(8) have not learned to read : "Cicero in his second Booke de Oratore, bringeth in one Lucilius, a pleasant and merrie conceipted man, who saith, that he would not have such things as he wrote to bee read, either of those that were excellently learned, or of them that were altogether ignoraunt. For, that the one would think more of his doinges, and have a farther meaning with him, than ever the aucthour selfe thought : the other taking the booke in his hand, would understand nothing at all, being as meete to reade Aucthours, as an Asse to play on the Organnes." (Sir Thomas Wilson, The Arte of Rhetorique, 1560.)
(9) due sequence : As an example of the power of a developing
sequence to enhance expectations of intelligibility in language, in
meanings and in actuality, see the last forty pages of
English through Pictures, Book 2 (New York, Washington Square Press, 1961).
(10) humane education : I feel that these Notes and Glosses cannot dose better than with a quotation from one of the greater utterances of our times : "The uneven division of power and wealth, the wide differences of health and comfort among the nations of mankind, are the sources of discord in the modern world, its major challenge and, unrelieved, its moral doom." P. M. S. Blackett, President of The Royal Society, in his address as President of the British Association, Dublin Meeting, Sept. 4, 1957. (The Advancement of Science, No. 54 Sept. 1957.) We may add now, ten years later, not only its moral but in drear likelihood its actual doom as well.
Richards is a wordsmith and poet : his usage of words where you might think the editor's spell checker made mistakes, are not. They are just not commonly
used outside of those of his capabilites : recondite, maundering, recondilements, entend, psittacism, unillumine, interpretative, unregulatable, enactively, dispictable, drear.