This is Why

As we have seen language is important. It is indeed vital to ensure a satisfying and successful life. Without the ability to use language well it is impossible to convey ideas to others either verbally or in writing. Strangely, it is the case that many students end their school, high school and even university days without being able to read, write and speak well. Leaving a school or college in an effectively illiterate state is severely limiting. Even if a working position is obtained illiteracy will limit the prospects of advancement and will result overall, in life, to vulnerability to the many dangers that exist.

Being unable to read and write can be socially embarrassing as well as professionally limiting. It is perfectly possible to be successful in a manual trade or art without being otherwise literate. The imagination can be expansive and original regardless of literacy or numeracy. Thus it is possible to paint or sculpt. Dismantling and reassembling mechanical devices may require only physical srength and a good memory. Experience will permit the diagnosis and cure of faults in many kinds of machinery. Illiteracy does not equate to a lack of intelligence. Some manage to hide for years the extent of their lack of reading skills by developing exceedingly good memories. Necessity may well be the mother of invention and it can also be the father of camouflage to hide deficiencies. The possibilty of being cheated by not being able to read a contract or conditions of service or employment is clear. Changing jobs, being promoted or obtaining an entitlement will be almost impossible if there is no capacity to complete an appropriate application form.

A "red face" situation can easily occur if it is impossible to read a menu at a restaurant, to go directly to the correct platform at a train station or to the right check-in desk at an airport because the information board display cannot be understood or to select the appropriate gender identification of a public toilet when the call of nature so demands where a pictogram is not provided. In the company of others these situations can also be very depressing.

The need for language skills is obvious. This is the primary reason for this site. It is not difficult to acquire basic abilities in reading and writing. There is no need to go into the intricate details of grammar to be able to use a language. The details and knowledge of simple spelling and punctuation are all that is necessary for most purposes given a normal capacity to comprehend the spoken word. Once this stage is attained then the desire or need to go further, to obtain a certificated qualification, can be pursued and satisfied.

The flexibility of English makes it a good language to learn. It is both tolerant of errors while being capable of great precision. The learning and use of the English language is the raison d'être for this site. How more beneficent can a language be than to include a "foreign" phrase in its everyday use. The English language that will be examined here will not be typical of the isolationist concept illustrated by Shakespeare and expressed in his play Richard II:-

This royal throne of kings, this scepter'd isle,

This earth of majesty, this seat of Mars,

This other Eden, demi-paradise,

This fortress built by Nature for herself Against infection and the hand of war,

This happy breed of men, this little world,

This precious stone set in the silver sea, Which serves it in the office of a wall,

Or as a moat defensive to a house, Against the envy of less happier lands,

This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England,

This nurse, this teeming womb of royal kings, Fear'd by their breed and famous by their earth.

rather it will be typified by the expansionist sentiments, but without the colonialist fervour that inspired them, shown in A.C.Benson's words set to music by Edward Elgar in the song "Land of Hope and Glory":-

Wider still, and wider, shall thy bounds be set;

God, who made thee mighty, make thee mightier yet!

After looking at "simple English" it will be possible to enjoy the variations of the language across national boundaries which prompted Sir Winston Churchill to describe the United States of America and the United Kingdom as "two nations divided by a common language".

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A SHORT ENGLISH GRAMMAR

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