But there is something more. Native speakers need a tool for writing in what I call a "small English" so that non-natives will understand them. Avoiding miscommunication, I say, is just as important as communication. I have spoken to a close friend from college days (physics, University of Florida, and one of a team of 500 or so around the world looking for the missing stuff in the universe) and he says I am indeed correct, that physicists know the technical physics terms in English. Neutrino in Japanese sounds as close as it can in their phonology. Even though the Germans got going early in physics, their word for energy is Energie. My friend tells me the big problem is in understanding the other English words and that it would be great if he could run his articles through a spell checker that would flag non-physics words his readers might not know.
There is indeed a small English vocabulary, indeed, the first of such, which was developed by C.K. Ogden in 1930. (Surely you have seen his "The Meaning of Meaning". Ogden did this conceptually and considered 850 basic concepts as being able to express most thoughts in English. The Basic English Institute (BEI) continues his work and has developed three "small Englishes": Basic (850 core words plus some others), Simple (which adds whatever words that are among the most frequently used words in English but weren't strictly needed as concepts), and SimpleWiki1, which adds words developed by the Voice of America for its Plain English broadcasts. BEI has developed plug-ins for the Open Office2 writer, but so far it is hard even for me to get it working right and rather clunky to use, especially when it comes to suggesting Basic words to use instead.
This was done partly at my own behooving. But since both BEI and OOo are volunteer efforts, it will be some time before anyone who downloads the OpenOffice suite can have ready-to-use options of checking one's writings against whichever of the three "simple Englishes" seems best. Further down the line OpenOffice could get from the American Physics Institute, say, a big list of physics words and put them into its suite, or else enable physicists to do so without fuss. Ditto for dozens of other occupations. Right now, you can't have the spell checker scan through different lists and flags word that are both not Basic English words and not physics terms.
These are among many tasks OpenOffice could undertake but for the lack of resources.
Backtrack: another effort to write in reduced English was made by European aircraft makers for their maintenance manuals, for the world's airports all use English. This is called Simplified Technical English. Software is available for this that not only flags words that are neither aircraft terms nor in its own small English but also checks against grammar rules, such as no paragraph containing more than six sentences. And the aforementioned Voice of America has its own simplified grammar rules, but no software. I have examined these and others, but the Basic English idea, built as it is around *concepts* is the best.
Here's where a spontaneous order comes in. If BEI->OOo takes off, then teachers of English and writers of books on English will gravitate toward using the words of Basic English or the other two larger versions based upon Basic, knowing that others are using these words, too. Roll you eyes back to your high school and college foreign language courses. How did the text book authors decide which words to teach at first? It is highly unlikely they thought about it, much less consulted word frequency lists or Basic-like vocabularies in other languages, which I don't think even exit. Naturally, the text books will have a large overlap, but not the overlap that might occur when BEI->OOo becomes widespread. Indeed, and as you well know, standardization occurs all the time in a spontaneous order. There is no hope whatever of getting central authorities in the world's nations to agree on a common list of English words to impose from the top down on the entire globe. And they would botch the job in any case. (Not being good Randian conceptualists, they won't see the merit of Basic!) Better let the commonalities emerge from the bottom up. And having maybe hundreds of millions of users of an office suite that is entirely free will encourage this market coordination.
My suggestion is that Hoover sponsor the further work that needs being done, first getting the three Basics into OpenOffice running smoothly and accumulating vocabularies of specialized occupations. (I have no doubt most of them would develop and donate these vocabularies for free, and send in some cash, too, but it will take time and effort to solicit them.) Second, to really work on a thesaurus that will give replacement words. And third, to develop a grammar checker for a simplified English.