Esperanto, a language scientifically designed to be politically neutral and easy to learn, should be officially adopted and declared as the International Language of the world. Because of its simplicity, Esperanto would provide people worldwide with the ability to save the huge amounts of time and effort that would otherwise be needed to learn and master any other international language.
Officially implementing and grounding this language in the United States could be done in the following way. Once the language has gained an official declaration of legitimacy by the government, children under 12 should be taught this language to fluency. Children not yet graduated from high school should be taught the basics of Esperanto every year until graduation so as to understand the majority of what is spoken or written in Esperanto. After the first cohort of children under 12 graduate high school, the learning of Esperanto to fluency should be mandated. Intensive Esperanto education should begin with the very first year of school enrollment.0 Comments
The official language of the United States should be American English. All government related documents should be in English with translations provided into any language (perhaps for a nominal fee to the foreign language user) for all documents. Government functions and communications should also be in English even at the local level regardless of how small the minority of English speakers may be. Otherwise, the evolution of political landscapes is too easily facilitated.
For US-made products, the English language should always have the priority in all multi-language documents, flyers, signs, etc. For example, instruction manuals printed within this country in multiple languages should have the English set of instructions placed first in the manual. Fliers, brochures, signs, etc., should have the English portion placed in front of or above the non-English portion and given at least the same visibility as the non-English portion (meaning the use of the same size font, same level of attractiveness, etc.). All automated telephone menus should not require the user to select English in any way. A user desiring another language should be required to actively select that other language.
To teach and use the tools of the English language more effectively, the rules of its usage must be simplified. This point will not address anything related to the grammatical construction of the English language. It will focus exclusively on spelling, specifically advocating a phonetic spelling for the English language. Today, our written language, is not nearly as efficient a communication tool as it could be. It requires that too much time and energy be spent on making sure that nonessential, useless, inefficient, unproductive conventional rules of spelling are followed. In other words, too much time and energy is spent, often subconsciously, on unnecessary spelling overhead associated with reading and writing.
A great deal of time, energy, money and frustration could be saved (especially in early primary school) by teaching people a drastically simpler and essentially a much more logical form of the written English language that would not at all change the pronunciation of words or the grammatical rules of usage, but would make the spelling of each word virtually entirely phonetic. The look of written English would change dramatically, but with a little practice and insight, the increased ease with which words may be read and written would make the benefits of a change over to this system obvious.
For the most part, English words would be written using their dictionary phonetic spellings but without syllabication symbols such as syllable dividers and accent marks. Most diacritical marks (pronunciation symbols) would most likely remain left out, especially if new letters are introduced into the alphabet to represent single sounds currently made by vowels (all of which can make two, three, or more sounds) or a combination of two or more letters (vowels or consonants). Some diacritical marks (pronunciation symbols) may still need to be permanently introduced (though very sparingly) to further clarify pronunciations.
It perhaps may not be practical to have each of the close to 50 sounds in the English language represented by a unique symbol, letter, or even combination of letters. However, it would be useful to add a few additional letters to the alphabet as well as incorporate into standard spellings a few diacritical marks so that many more sounds are represented by distinct letters or markings. For the words that may not be perfectly phonetically spelled, readers can refer to the dictionary for more complete phonetic instructions. This would be no different than what people do today.
A change of this magnitude would take, at the very least, several decades to get it to the point where its own momentum would guarantee its ubiquitous adoption throughout all aspects of American English culture and writings. The benefits, however, would be impressive and make it very well worthwhile. The most obvious benefits would be realized during the early primary education of children. A phonetically spelled language system would shave several months or even a year or more off a child’s educational career. These savings would be occurring during early childhood which is the most important time of a child’s career. This is when their ability to absorb and learn material is optimal. In other words, less time would be spent teaching the child to read and write while more time could be spent teaching other subjects and activities precisely during the time of their lives when they are the most receptive to learning. Following is an example of perhaps how this new written English language would look.
We can doo it, but onle if thə jenərl popyəlashən iz kənvinsd uv, and bilevz in, thə grat benəfits that wood rizult.
The strategy to use to cause this proposal to be adopted is rather simple, though it will take time. First, an official proclamation of legitimacy and sanctioning of this type of simplified spelling is needed. Then academic institutions, textbook and dictionary publishers and other influential products and services would be strongly encouraged or perhaps even required at least to list this new phonetic spelling and text alongside conventional spellings and text. Every year, progressively more influential products and services and everybody else in society would be encouraged to learn and switch over to the new phonetic spelling system. Second, the youngest cohorts of the population should be exclusively taught and totally immersed in the phonetic system (mandated throughout their educational curriculums). Progressively older cohorts would then follow in this total immersion at a rate equal to the rate of the natural aging of the population (or at least should not exceed this rate). In other words, the first cohort to be totally immersed would always be the age group that leads the population in the adoption of this new system as the population ages.
The publicly required switch to reading and writing in the phonetic system (such as private publishers) should be at a rate that is significantly slower than the rate of switching required in the educational system. This is to allow for a possible time lag in people of the same cohort to keep up with learning fluently the new system or to just make the transition a little less abrupt. Nevertheless, since the future market will be for material published using the phonetic system, publishers will likely want to stop publishing using the traditional spelling system about as fast as the first cohort ages. Because of the possibility that the natural inertia of our society’s conventional spelling system will erode the fluency of members of the first totally immersed cohort in the new system, the speed at which the required switchover is required may have to be significantly slower than the rate as which the population ages. Conversely, because this would be seen as being the future of the English language, and due to its simplicity of use, it may very well be that the last few cohorts of standard English learning instruction (those older than the first cohort of mandatory instruction under this new spelling scheme) would voluntarily take it upon themselves to learn and fully adopt the new system.
This process, likely lasting up to 100 years, would continue until the entire population has switch over. New immigrant speakers should be taught the phonetic language unless they are much older than the current switching age.
If none of these language proposals seem workable, the least we must do to make English more logical and easier to read and write is to attempt to guide and slowly force the evolution of complex words like through, silhouette, and quayage into simpler words like throo or even thru, silooet, and keig. British English words like faecal and colour should be fecal and color. Fortunately, it may be easier to accomplish the goal of changing the spelling of words and then keeping those spellings static than it is to keep the meanings of words the same over time.
Chanjing thə wa we red and rit from kənvenshənəl Inglish too prənunseashən-basd Inglish will prəvid wurthwil benəfits too our səsiity, ispeshəle bi making it ezeər too tech our childrən too red and rit. The kweschən iz wethər səsiity iz wiling to embark on this multesenchəre strugəl. It’s not reəle hard too doo, it duzənt rekwir much nyoo lurning, just praktis and geting yoozd too the nyoo systəm. Thə meningz, yoosijəz, and prənunseashənz uv thə wurdz riman thə sam, onle thə spelingz chanj.0 Comments
Dates, addresses, and names should be written in a certain standardized form going from the general to the specific. Dates should be written using the following format: year/month/day. Address labels should be written with the name of the country first (if necessary), then the state or province, next the county, then the city, then the street address. Finally, the name of the addressee should be written.
People’s names should also be written and spoken so that they progress from the general to the specific, like they do in China and many other parts of the world. Basically, we should use the ‘eastern order’ system of naming in which the family name is stated first, then the given name. A family (last) name should be stated first because it is the general name of a group of people (the family). Then the more specific first name should be stated to individually identify the referenced person. For example, Smith John instead of John Smith. It’s more logical.0 Comments
There are two valid options, in my opinion, two choose as global standards. The first option is the idealistically pure one because it uses existing punctuation to more accurately convey the relationship between the individual digits within a large number. The second option is basically an inferior standard, but it is one that is most widely in use now, so the transition costs would not be anywhere as large as the first option would entail. Nevertheless, this option is logical enough that we would benefit from the elimination of many other less logical systems.
Option #1 – The Most Logical Option
Blank Space Number Separator
An alternative numbering format, which may be more logical would be the International System of Units (SI) format in which the thousands separator is merely a single blank space such as the spacing between words, but can also be a smaller spacing. This may make more sense because a conventional comma used as the thousands separator may imply too much distinction between the number, like a comma would when describing, for example, a large, red, sleek car. Yes, all words describe the car but they are completely different characteristics. With long numbers, all the numbers are actually part of the very same number. Digits between number separators do not signify a different characteristic of the number, they are basically just a part of the name of the whole number itself. These number separators (blank spaces in this proposal) merely serve to make it easier to read, a function that could well be accomplished by single empty spaces.
Apostrophes should also be used after (to the right of) the decimal mark to separate hundredth, millionth, billionth, etc. (Ex. 123,456,789.012,345,678).
Reluctantly Keep the Decimal Period
Following this same logic, the decimal point would appear to indicate a break between one complete thought and another, as it does in ordinary sentence structure. But a decimal written within a number (between whole numbers and decimal fractions) merely indicates a change in scale while still describing the very same number. Currently, a decimal point used within a number indicates merely the transition between whole numbers and decimal fractions. But the decimal fraction is an integral part of a number, therefore it is nothing at all like a separate thought, or even a related item. It is actually part of the number, just like a letter is part of a word. In words like x-ray, ex-wife, day-to-day, ill-fated, and others, the hyphen is used to indicate a direct, integral relationship between the words. This is precisely the relationship between a whole number and its decimal fraction. So maybe a hyphen would be most appropriate. But since a hyphen is commonly used to indicate a range of numbers (such as (the car was 10-20 feet away”), it would not work as a decimal. An additional downside to using a hyphen would be the difficulty of verbally stating numbers with decimal marks in them, such as 1.2 billion (one point two billion). Under this proposals, this number would be written as 1-2 billion. Apart from the range confusion indicate above, there would be a verbal and written discontinuity since it would be impossible to change the verbal “point” when referring to numbers. That would be unacceptable. An interpunct or interpoint, or raised dot, or middle dot as it is often referred, has been used in the past as a decimal mark, especially in British English, but because of it confusion with the mathematical character for multiplication, it had not been selected as the standard decimal mark. Therefore, it is necessary to stay with the conventional full stop period as the standardized decimal mark.
Option #2 – The Less Optimal Option
The worldwide standard for the use of punctuation within written numbers should be as follows: a period should be used to separate whole numbers from decimal fractions and a comma should be used to separate sets of thousands, millions, billions, etc.
Just like a period at the end of a sentence indicates the end of a grammatical unit and the end of one complete thought (essentially a separation in structure), a period between whole numbers and decimal fractions indicates a separation and division of the structure and meaning of the number. Whole numbers indicate a quantity of complete/whole units; decimals indicate only a fraction of one unit.
Also as in a sentence, commas are used to indicate a separation of ideas or elements within the structure of a sentence. Commas used in numerical writings should only be used to separate within the structure of the number, such as to separate the number sets of thousands, millions, billions, etc. The use of commas in this way, not only makes it easier for such numbers to be read, but also keeps with the logic of commas being used to separate between related items. Their use in this way also instructs the reader to pause as a large number is read. The alternate method of numerical writing, namely, including an empty space in places where commas would otherwise go, should not be used because this would imply too much of a separate meaning between the number groupings. This would also cause greater confusion and difficulty, especially when writing numbers by hand. Commas should also be used after (to the right of) the decimal point to separate hundredth, millionth, billionth, etc. (Ex. 123,456,789.012,345,678).
Long-Scale Numbering Nomenclature
Additionally, ‘long scale’ numbering nomenclature (thousand million, milliard, thousand billion, billiard, etc.) should be prohibited in favor of ‘short scale’ numbering (our conventional numbering nomenclature (thousand, million, billion, trillion, quadrillion, etc.)).0 Comments
Words describing periods of time should be simplified. Terms like ‘biweekly’ and ‘bimonthly’ should never be ambiguous, as they currently are. These and all other prefixes should always be given the same meaning.
First, the prefixes bi-, tri- quad-, quint-, sex-, sep- hex-, novem-, deka-, etc., should always mean that many parts within whatever root or noun follows such prefixes. For example, bicycle consists of one unit (a bike) and two parts (two wheels). Similarly, a hexagon consists of one unit (a shape) with eight parts (sides). Biannually and biyearly should always mean one unit (a year) and two parts (or two times (twice) within one year). Using this same logic, centannual should mean 100 times a year.
However, there are no prefixes that can really convey the idea of events happening less frequently than the unit of time they are referencing. But, because using one word to describe events that take place once every few years is very convenient and justifiable, one small workaround to the dearth of prefixes is to use the root “-ennial”, as is already, fortunately, the general convention. For example, centennial would mean once every hundred years, in contrast to centannual which would mean 100 times a year. Similarly, biennual would mean once every two years, while biannual would mean twice a year.
I don’t see how we could use the same, or any other, technique to do the same to describe things or events that take place once every two or more weeks, months, decades, centuries, etc. Such words just won’t sound right. The only way to communicate such ideas may be to just use a phrase like “once every two months”. However, it may be possible to use larger reference units of time with the prefixes we currently have available. For example, sexannually (six times per year) would mean the exact same thing as ‘once every two months’.0 Comments
Only punctuation marks that are directly part of a quote should be placed inside the quotation marks. Any other punctuation marks should be placed outside and after the quotation marks. No punctuation that is part of the quote (thus, inside the quotation marks) should be used to help construct the editor’s sentence structure.
For example, let’s say a person says, “I have many cars. This is a red car. That one is a blue car”. Another person then quotes part of what the first person said by writing, “This is a red car.” and includes the period before the ending quotation mark like I have shown, should be deemed a correctly structured sentence. The editor could also write, “This is a red car” without the period and it would still be correctly structured and quoted because it is the editor who could pick what he wants to quote (where to begin and end a quote), so long as the original message is not adulterated. An editor quoting this same sentence at the end of his own sentence would write it to appear like this: “This is a red car.”. or “This is a red car”. The editor could decide whether or not he wants to include the final period in the original quote. Adding a period within the quote in this example would be redundant, but there are situations where either the quoted punctuation mark or the editor’s punctuation mark after the quote would be different and thus convey a significant or essential meaning to the reader as illustrated in the following sentence: The man said, “This is a red car!”.
Is summary, the British style of punctuation should be used in America and everywhere else the English language is used.0 Comments
Acronyms, abbreviations, and initialisms, should always be written in their expanded forms during their first use in a document or article. In addition, their abbreviated form (if used later in the document or article) should always be written in parenthesis right after this first full, expanded use of the term in the document or article. In long works, the expanded terms should be stated alongside the acronym periodically, such as during their first use in new sections of the work, so that readers are helpfully reminded of their meaning without requiring them to flip through the whole book or other long work to try to find their meanings.
Such a convention would allow readers to find the definitions or meanings of acronyms much faster in articles and other printed works. In addition, each letter of the expanded term that forms part of the acronym or abbreviation should be written in capital letters. This should at least be true for the more complicated acronyms.0 Comments
Generally, more commas should be used in writing to insure proper breaks/pauses so that accurate intonations are better communicated and so that sentence structures are clearer. Commas should be used after each item in a series except the last (i.e., someone has a red, blue, green, white, and orange car).
There are instances in which such a consistent comma usage policy would reduce confusion, such as when items in a series have internal conjunctions. For example, “I love ham, tuna, peanut butter and cheese sandwiches.” Without a serial comma placed after peanut butter, the meaning would be ambiguous as to whether the writer intended that he liked a sandwich that included both peanut butter and cheese or to different sandwiches that included each of these ingredients separately.
The tendency should always be to use a comma when in doubt.0 Comments
There should be a global congress of experts dedicated to standardizing the naming and spellings of historical/archaeological/geographical names around the world. Their job would be to act in ways similar to courts of justice and listen to all parties who advocate a certain name over another. Each party would be required to support its case with as much information as possible. This congress would then deliberate upon the matter and then, when they feel they have a satisfactory amount of information, they would vote or otherwise come to a decision regarding the proper name that should be applied to the location in question.
People or representatives in this congress living around or representing the area where the place to be named is located should have a disproportionately larger say in the matter.
Atlases, dictionaries and all other reference or educational publications should be bound by the rulings handed down by this congress.0 Comments
The standardized conventional format used to write telephone numbers should include the use of dashes within the number. For example, a telephone number should be written like the following: 1-310-234-5678. The use of symbols other than dashes (such as commas, periods, or blank spaces) would tend to contribute to greater confusion due to the use of these punctuation marks for other grammatical purposes.
Commas (1,310,234,5678), if written sloppy, may be misinterpreted as the number one. More likely, the use of commas as place holders in larger numbers may create initial confusion as to whether the telephone number is merely a large number, albeit with commas written in the wrong locations.
Using periods (1.310.234.5678) may also increase confusion because of their conventional use to end sentences. Periods signify the end of a complete thought and their use in telephone numbers would be inconsistent with their original meaning. All the numbers of a telephone number are all directly related with each other.
The use of empty spaces (1 310 234 5678), like the spaces between words, may also increase confusion because the numbers don’t immediately seem to be directly related to one another.
Colons (1:310:234:5678) may be a proper punctuation mark to use, but they may be slightly more confusing than a hyphen because their two dots require more lifting and movements when using a writing instrument than would a single hyphen.
Hyphens seem to clearly imply a direct visual relationship between all numbers in a telephone number sequence while at the same time creating enough spacing within the number sets to make them easier to read.