Some people may ask why a scientific worker should devote empty hours of fire-watching in Aberdeen to a task which professional linguists might more properly undertake. There is one sufficient answer to this question. Just because they are professional linguists, professional linguists are apt to underrate the linguistic difficulties of ordinary people, and hence to underrate the social importance of the language issue vis-à-vis world peace and world-wide human co-operation. Because natural science is the only existing form of human co-operation on a planetary scale, men of science, who have to turn to journals published in many languages for necessary information, are acutely aware that the babel of tongues is a social problem of the first magnitude. Men of science, more than others, have at their finger-tips an international vocabulary which is already in existence; and a biologist who looks forward to a health-conscious future cannot fail to recognize how popularization of new health standards is daily adding to the stock-in-trade of internationally current words in daily use.
Curiously enough, the first person to devise an interlanguage was an Aberdonian, George Dalgarno. His Ars Signorum came out in 1651. Its successor, the Real Character of Bishop Wilkins, appeared in 1678, issued at the expense and at the request of the Royal Society. From that day to this scientific workers have been prominent in the movement for promoting a world-auxiliary. The world-famed scientist Wilhelm Ostwald was in the forefront of the interlinguistic renaissance during the latter half of the nineteenth century; and Peano, the mathematician, is the author of one of the best recent projects. So there is no lack of good precedent.
More than three hundred pioneers have already put forward projects such as this. The author of Interglossa does not flatter himself with the hope that it will ever become the common language of international communication. A good enough reason for publishing this draft is that the post-war world may be ripe, as never before, for recognition of need for a remedy which so many others have sought. When need becomes articulate, it will be relatively simple for an international committee to draw on a common pool of effort, seemingly spent with little result. To that common pool the author modestly consigns this first draft in the hope that readers will make suggestions and offer constructive criticisms as a basis for something better. It is not a primer for the