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#47860 02/02/13 02:42 AM
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Use the Up-Goer Five editor. This text editor doesn't let the writer use any but the 1000 most used words in the English language. To use it you have to think of ways to say whatever you are talking about in a way that can be understood by any body. Use of this editor will force scientists to think carefully about how to write their reports so that they will be more simply understood. The editor is available for free down load.

phys.org:Up-Goer Five

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Interesting discussion with the article, Bill.

I have mixed feelings about the idea. I have long held the view that if a scientist could not explain something in generally understandable language, there could just be some doubt as to how well he/she actually understood it, but I concede that such an explanation might be long and involved and would have no place in a scientific paper, the intention of which was to exchange information between professionals.

As long as this restricted vocabulary was used to demystify jargon for popular consumption, and nothing else, it might be a good thing. However, there must also be a chance it would further impoverish a language which is already at risk of being stripped of much of its richness and colour.


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Originally Posted By: Bill S.
However, there must also be a chance it would further impoverish a language which is already at risk of being stripped of much of its richness and colour.

I'm not sure how English is being stripped of it's richness. It seems to me that we keep adding new words and phrases all the time. Texting and tweeting in particular seem to be adding a lot of new words, or at least new spellings.

For that matter texting and tweeting are both new concepts.

Of course wide use of that editor would create very verbose communications. The use of a limited set of words would cause a lot of long winded statements. For example here is a link to the cartoon that inspired the editor. xkcd:Up-Goer Five.

Bill Gill

Bill Gill


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Bill, good info, THANKS! I've book-marked it.


G~O~D--Now & ForeverIS:Nature, Nurture & PNEUMA-ture, Thanks to Warren Farr&ME AT www.unitheist.org
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Whilst plain English is desirable, I think that a few embellishments don't go amiss. English is a language that often offers multiple words to describe one 'thing', and oddly enough this actually enables a precision of meaning that is less verbose than many other European languages.

Which raises some other points--- does this editor function in all languages? And how does a writer produce poetry without simile and metaphor?

Personally I think that this would be like condensing human experience to Twitter remarks and on the way squeezing all the richness out of the art of writing. It would be REALLY easy to feed into a computer to censure it though!

Now there's a nascent conspiracy theory!

Last edited by Ellis; 02/06/13 04:38 AM.

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