Posted by: Bob C. Cleckler | July 4, 2012

One Essential Idea

This blog will be short to make only one very important point.

Do you, like many people, consider yourself too busy to read about ending illiteracy? If people who consider themselves busy are presented with written information more than about one page long, they will often scan it to see if they really want to spend the time to understand it. The problem with that procedure is that a person can make wrong assumptions about the written material by merely scanning it AND they are almost certain to miss some very important facts about ending illiteracy by merely scanning.

What the humanitarian project of Literacy Research Associates, Inc. and NuEnglish, Inc. (two non-profit educational corporations) is trying to accomplish is very simple: spell our words the way they sound, the way the rest of the world does. The justifying facts for correcting our spelling, however, are many, varied, and sometimes a little complicated. It does not, however, require a college degree to understand the problem and the solution—anyone with a fourth grade education can understand it.

Using the excuse, “It is not my thing” or “I am just a layman” to avoid “getting involved” is being heartless to the suffering of hundreds of millions of people (over 93 million in the U.S. alone) who need our help. Many people, as soon as they hear the words “spelling reform” assume that spelling reform (1) has been tried in the U.S. and failed, (2) is more trouble than it is worth, (3) is unnecessary (primarily since they can already read and neither know nor care about how many cannot read and the problems it causes them), or (4) that if spelling reform were really necessary, our educational and political leaders would have already implemented it.

Not one of those assumptions is true. You cannot know that, however, if you never honestly examine all the facts of the matter. If you believe that people are too busy to read the preceding portion of this blog, what facts would you omit and still have a reasonable chance of spurring someone to action to help end English illiteracy? No one knows how many facts it will take convince someone to help correct our ridiculous spelling. It must be corrected, however, for the good of more than 1.5 billion English-speaking people around the world, about 600 million of whom are functionally illiterate in English. Unfortunately, for both the illiterates and the fluent readers, people often must see information about a product or an idea about seven times before deciding to take action. Unfortunately, concerning illiteracy, many people will need to read all of Let’s End Our Literacy Crisis, Second Revision, which can be read free in e-book form on our home page, before deciding to take the recommended action. The home page gives a very good introduction to the problem and solution to ending illiteracy, but the book provides enough of the facts to convince even the most confirmed skeptic to take action. If you think this is unnecessary, let me challenge you to prove it to yourself rather than merely ignoring the need of hundreds of millions of our fellowman for ending illiteracy.

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