... flies in the face of logic and common sense


Senior Member
Mandarin - Mainland China

I have trouble in understanding the highlighted part below:

The teaching of reading - all over the United States, in all the schools, in all the textbooks - is totally wrong and flies in the face of all logic and common sense.

Would you please cast light on it for me?

  • Yankee_NLPer

    Senior Member
    I agree wholeheartedly!! This is my personal area of expertise.

    What the writer means... or at least I would mean if I had written it...
    is that babies and children have a natural way of learning, by exploring the world around them and making sensory connections via seeing, hearing, touching, smelling... through experiencing life.

    ...flies in the face of all logic and common sense. ...means going against the natural way people learn, especially if phonics is used to teach reading. It means it's the opposite of common sense and is not a logical approach. It also means that reading is a visual process, like looking at a tree and understanding it's a tree. Speed readers do not sub-vocalize the words (say the words to themselves), they see and understand meaning. Historically, the way reading has been taught slows most readers down because it interrupts the natural way people see and understand, it adds steps to the process because people imitate the process they used to learn.
    Last edited:


    Senior Member
    UK English
    In view of the rest of the sentence, it seems to be a meaningless phrase, especially since it is a cliché.
    There is meaning in the individual words (=completely illogical and going against commonsense). But what this means in the context of reading is totally unclear.
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