Ken'an Caviness'an mesaghon mi legis, kiu estis skribita :

> Such people (poor accusative users, maf) are frequently
> word-for-word translating anyway.  Anything different will cause us to stumble until we
> practice it a bit.  But we can assimilate simple rules more quickly than complicated
> rules with exceptions.
> Incidentally, I doubt if different simple rules would result in fewer mistakes in this
> situation.  The important thing is that the rules be simple and then learners can
> practice until it's all second nature.

Hmmm I think I mentioned once before that I heard a _long-time_ (20+, maybe 30+ years in the
movment) more than fairly fluent (in terms of speed, ease of expression) omit approx 80 of
accusatives in a 20 minute speech . Length of time speaking the language and fluency (for me
that means being able to express yourself fast and clearly enough so that the listener
doesn't get bored or distracted or too confused) has almost _no_ effect.
In my practical experience _teaching_ languages, most learners pay enough attention to the
niceties just enough to get by. It's a rare student that wants to be "correct" for the sake
of being correct.
Obviously incorrect usage of the accusative does _not_ lead to communication breakdown 95%
(or so approx) of the time in speaking and 90% or so in writing. (Writers trying to be
clever can come up with sentences that are confusing without the accusative, but that's not
good IAL practice).

> I would be against making a rule "optional", since that introduces more confusion than
> help  It is certainly true that the -n could be dropped entirely from Esperanto, but
> only at the expense of a significant portion of Esperanto's relatively free word order,
> which many people view as one of the language's strengths (allowing greater
> "internationality").  There's a price for everything.

Yes, there is. The price of Eo's current division between fluent and non-fluent speakers
makes diglossia a very real danger/price.
Once again, "free word order" is a myth. Every language has rules for word order (I know in
this context you mean relative position of subject and object but even then cases are no
guide for word order in the real world. Spanish has no nominal (as opposed to pronominal)
cases and has topic/comment word order (rules differ slightly from region to region and
there is an 'accusative' preposition, sort of, for humans 'a', but nowhere is SVO order
mandatory. Finnish on the other hand has 15 or 16 cases and pretty much sticks with SVO.

I don't mind the accusative case especially, it's the weird defensive thing among hard-core
Eo speakers about how indispensible it is (it isn't, get over it).

miken farris'on