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Monday, July 13, 2009

Simple English Wikipedia! XD

This is, so far, the silliest thing I've seen all day. They have something called Simple English Wikipedia.

Now, if you click the link, you can learn more about it from their point of view. My point of view? It's pointless. According to the page I linked to, it's for "students, children, adults with learning difficulties, and people who are trying to learn English". And while that sounds innocent at first, let's procrastinate and analyze this...

Children and students. Well, shouldn't that be "Wikipedia for Kids"? After all, most students can understand that Ordinary English Wikipedia. Though, I could see the need for a Wikipedia for Kids for children who have a reading level of 6th grade or less. It would especially be good for younger middle schoolers and elementary schoolers.

Now, when they say adults with learning disabilities, what exactly do they mean? I myself am an adult with a learning disability. I have dyslexia. And newsflash: having dyslexia doesn't mean you can't read big words. Every case of dyslexia is different, but for my sister (who's 19 and reads just fine) and I, it's the small words that are so easy to get rearranged (like "what" and "that"). My dyslexia wasn't diagnosed until I was in the 8th grade. Before then, I had to sink or swim and I had to work harder than everyone else; if I didn't, the teachers would think I was lazy.

In the sixth grade, before my dyslexia was ever diagnosed, I tested out as having the reading level of a college student. Why? Because I had a very large vocabulary and a very good understanding of the English language, as well as impeccable reading comprehension. Having dyslexia doesn't mean you have a small vocabulary. Vocabulary is usually taught to you at a young age, by your parents, before you can even read.

So, why am I talking so much about dyslexia when it's not explicitly stated? Well, it's because I'm pretty sure that that's what they meant by "learning disabilities". I know that there are many other learning disabilities, but that's usually the one that people think of in terms of reading comprehension. And honestly, as a dyslexic, who has a dyslexic sister and step-grandfather (who was a university professor to boot), I find it rather insulting.

As for the English as a second language thing, I can't really argue with that, as I've never had to learn English as a second language, since it's my native tongue. But I will say that I went to a university with a LOT of foreign students and honestly, it seems like being challenged by English daily actually helped many of them understand it better.

And that's the thing. If someone reads things like the Simple English Wikipedia all the time, they'll never really push themselves to learn more and improve. Stagnation is one of the most detrimental things around.

So, what does this have to do with Artful Procrastination? Five Artful Procrastination Points if you procrastinate by comparing articles from the Ordinary English Wiki to the Simple English Wiki.