Dr. Benjamin Elson Appointed as Executive Director

Dr. Benjamin Elson is appointed Executive Director of SIL. Elson had attended SIL's summer linguistics courses at the University of Oklahoma in 1942 and joined the organization soon after. Along with his wife, Adele, Elson had been involved in linguistic research and language development service with the Sierra Popoluca community of Mexico from 1943-1953. The Elsons would frequently serve on the staff of a number of SIL training programs.

Elson's Linguistic Creed, composed in 1987:

We believe that language is one of God's most important gifts to man, and of all human characteristics, language is the most distinctly human and the most basic. Without language, culture and civilization would be impossible.

We also believe that any language is capable of being a vehicle for complicated human interaction and complex thought, and can be the basis for a complex culture and civilization.

Therefore, all languages deserve respect and careful study.

As the most uniquely human characteristic a person has, a person's language is associated with his self-image. Interest in and appreciation of a person's language is tantamount to interest in and appreciation of the person himself.

All languages are worthy of preservation in written form by means of grammars, dictionaries, and written texts. This should be done as part of the heritage of the human race.

Every language group deserves to see its language in print and to have some literature written in it.

Minority language groups within a larger nation deserve the opportunity of learning to speak, read, and write the national language.

Date:
Monday, 30 May, 1966
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