current international roots, many of which are polysyllables.
It follows that a language designed on the speedword principle would not be as easy to learn for purposes of reading, writing or speaking as a language built up of unmutilated internationally current word-material. For that reason Interglossa eschews contracted forms except for 5 essential pronouns, the 2 interrogative and imperative particles, and a special class of 13 generic substantives or amplifiers (pp. 97-105) which enter into large groups of compounds. The last-named have alternative full forms. At the same time, a language of which all the essential vocables do not exceed 900 is well adapted to make use of the Dutton principle for note-taking and other purposes for which economy of space and speed of transcription are specially important. It is possible to represent each vocable of Interglossa by a distinct monosyllable based on the initial letters or bisyllable made up of not more than four letters, keeping the average length of a word to 2.6 letters. It would not be possible to do the same thing with a natural language other than Basic English because too many of the combinations of less than 4 initial letters would have to be the same. A casual glance at any page of a dictionary suffices to prove this.
Since each pigeon-hole in the 880-item semantic schema has its appropriate number, it is possible to communicate with a code of ten symbols, i.e. the Arabic numerals, without using more than three consecutive symbols for each word. Thus, dispatched fifty kilograms wheat last month is: 464. 31.26.38. 717. 625. 72. 68. This involves recourse to half as many symbols from a keyboard with less than half as many items.