matical paradigms as a prophylactic against the shock which the nervous system would sustain if we had to face at the outset the all-pervading verbal irregularities and ubiquitous semantic inconsistencies inherent in the structure of any natural language. After a protracted period of immunization by this technique, we are permitted to learn that there are regrettable anomalies in the otherwise orderly pattern of natural discourse. We are then invited to commit to memory a prescribed number of admittedly untidy odds and ends, called idioms. We note with a little pang that we cannot pair off all the bits and pieces in the semantic and morphological rag-bag called the verb to be with all the bits and pieces in the morphological and semantic rag-bag spelt as être. Happily, the discovery does not undermine the discipline of our sturdy island race. Having learned to label tricks of discourse with unitary epithets, such as the subjunctive mood or the accusative case, we are confirmed in the delusion that verbal collocations so described necessarily have a one-to-one congruence of meaning in two different languages. The naked truth is that one and the same interjection of this species may describe a dozen or more semantic entities in either of them.
Once indoctrinated with this nonsense, we cannot hope to learn any language designed in conformity with consistent semantic principles, unless we are willing to relearn the language or languages we already speak, and to unlearn everything that the old-school-tie masters have taught us. At some stage or other most potential readers of this book have been more or less permanently disabled by the nonsense taught as grammar in all British schools and many American ones. So it is not possible to justify the credentials of Interglossa to any considerable public without filling up many pages with an autopsy on grammatical misconceptions we embraced in our youth or adolescence. That is why Part II has to be long. That is why it is inevitably a little forbidding. An author who hopes to win recognition for new principles of language design has to overcome the superstitions of the sophisticated before he can hope to cash in on the commonsense of the common man.
That the treatment of the semantics of the vocables in Part II has to be long, and has to be a little forbidding, does not mean that Interglossa demands intellectual exploits of which only highly educated people are capable. The very opposite is true. Simple people who have never been initiated into the idiocies of grammatical classifications current in college text-books have nothing to unlearn. If this book were written for children or exclusively for adults who have never studied a