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My core postulate is that there is a widening chasm between small islands of privileged middle-class learners of EFL across the developing world, the EFL haves – and the masses of working-class and ordinary learners, often ‘low achievers’ in school parlance, the EFL have-nots. ‘Money talks English’, and generates vast topographies of inequity in global discourse. Basic human discourse rights within a TESOL of equity and solidarity in the 21st century suggests that ideally, all individuals on this planet should have the right to learn an efficient, compact lingua franca for trans-cultural and trans-national communication, in effect ‘reclaiming the commons of discourse’ through pedagogies for plainer talk. I present a vintage model for building solid competence in a simpler, leaner mini-form of ELF, adapting Ogden/Richards’ BASIC ENGLISH (850 headwords, www.basic-english.org), developed in the 1930s, as a sustainable foundation and ‘target’ plateau level for L2 English literacy needs for the ‘Two-Thirds World’ of ordinary workers (Finn, 1999), the bottom 4 billion of humanity. BASIC can also be used for vertical translation, to sensitize native speakers to the ‘meaning of meaning’ in Ogden’s classic sense (Templer, 2012). And is a power tool for democratizing knowledge, creating a large library of classics and more complex discourse translated vertically into BASIC 850 for extensive free voluntary reading by the masses. Necessary is a research center exploring simplified modes of English for the social majorities (Templer, 2011, 2012).