The internet, however, can be counted on for a satirical riposte.
“Egypt Escalates Its War on Language, Radically Trims down The Alphabet,” reads the headline at Karl Sharro’s blog Karl reMarks.
A “radical move aimed at stopping the misuse of language to tarnish the country’s image abroad” would see “the alphabet gradually reduced to the letters S and I only”.
A government spokesperson announced the details of the bold programme in a press conference attended only by official media representatives as all other journalists were tied up.
To the cheers of journalists, a spokesman explained:
If our great ancestors could manage only with those little drawings of birds and stethoscopes, why do we need the alphabet?
A release detailed how the new alphabet might be used.
A man walks into a shop, greeting the shopkeeper:
At which point, the customer pays for what he bought and leaves.