It’s not always just people’s foreign language skills that need polishing. Often, people need a little bit of help with their own language, whether it be improving their overall skill levels, or bringing their literacy up to speed with their oral language capabilities.
I am completely in favour of literacy organisations, and a lot of them do great work within communities all over the world.
I recently stumbled across a literacy site supported by the Verizon Foundation in the US. It offers a wide range of free resources for teachers and parents, but for some reason, the name bothered me. The name of the site is Thinkfinity, which appears to be a portmanteau made up of the words think and infinity. I know that made-up words are used for many things, including business names and newfangled jargon terms, but the use of a non-word to support literacy development scratches at me the wrong way. It’s not even a particularly good portmanteau.
Don’t get me wrong, though, this won’t make me take support away from their general cause.
I found an A-Z of literacy organisations, and from that list drew a few more gems:
Read On – Write Away! – a Derbyshire organisation who not only have a great pun in their name, but also use the exclamation mark in their acronym, ROWA!
ContinYou – a British community learning organisation. For some reason, their name doesn’t bug me at all, as it sounds like an actual word, and also directly conveys a feeling of self improvement.
Clinks – an organisation working with NGOs (non-government organisations) and the criminal justice system in the UK. This may be my favourite one, as it not only incorporates the idea of community links; clink is also a slang term for prison, or jail.