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Encyclopedia > Basic English
Look up Appendix:Basic English word list in
Wiktionary, the free dictionary.

Basic English is a constructed language with a small number of words created by Charles Kay Ogden and described in his book Basic English: A General Introduction with Rules and Grammar (1930). The language is based on a simplified version of English, in essence a subset of it. Wikipedia does not have an article with this exact name. ... Wiktionary is a multilingual, Web-based project to create a free content dictionary, available in over 150 languages. ... An artificial or constructed language (known colloquially as a conlang among aficionados), is a language whose phonology, grammar and vocabulary are specifically devised by an individual or small group, rather than having naturally evolved as part of a culture the way natural languages do. ... Charles Kay Ogden (June 1, 1889 Fleetwood - March 21, 1957 London) was a British linguist, philosopher, and writer, now mostly remembered as the inventor and propagator of Basic English, a constructed language, his primary activity from 1925 until his death. ... The English language is a West Germanic language that originates in England. ...

Ogden said that it would take seven years to learn English, seven months for Esperanto, and seven weeks for Basic English, comparable with Ido. Thus Basic English is used by companies who need to make complex books for international use, and by language schools that need to give people some knowledge of English in a short time. Look up Esperanto in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Ido (pronounced ), a constructed language, was created to become a universal second language for speakers of different linguistic backgrounds, easier to learn than any ethnic language. ...

Ogden did not put any words into Basic English that could be paraphrased with other words, and he strove to make the words work for speakers of any other language. He put his set of words through a large number of tests and adjustments. He also made the grammar simpler, but tried to keep the grammar normal for English users.

The concept gained its greatest publicity just after the Second World War as a tool for world peace. Although it was not built into a program, similar simplifications were devised for various international uses. I. A. Richards was a forceful advocate of the use of Basic English, and lobbied the government of China to teach it in schools there. Combatants Major Allied powers: United Kingdom Soviet Union United States Republic of China and others Major Axis powers: Nazi Germany Italy Japan and others Commanders Winston Churchill Joseph Stalin Franklin Roosevelt Harry Truman Chiang Kai-Shek Adolf Hitler Benito Mussolini Hideki Tojo Casualties Military dead: 17,000,000 Civilian dead... Ivor Armstrong Richards (February 26, 1893-1979) was an influential literary critic and rhetorician. ...


Rules of grammar

Ogden's rules of grammar for Basic English allows people to use the 850 words to talk about things and events in the normal English way.

  1. Words are pluralized by adding an ~s on the end of the word. If there are special ways to make a plural word in English, such as ~es and ~ies, they should be used instead.
  2. Words like change, turn, and use are used as verbs, but the 300 of them may be turned into different forms by adding the ending ~er or ~ing; or into adjectives by adding ~ing and ~ed. Only act is to be turned into actor rather than acter.
  3. Some adjectives can be turned into adverbs with the ending ~ly.
  4. For comparatives and superlatives, either more and most or ~er and ~est may be used.
  5. Some adjectives can be inverted with un~.
  6. Yes/no Questions are formed by adding do at the beginning or changing the word order.
  7. Operators and pronouns conjugate as in normal English.
  8. Combined words can be formed from two operators (for example become), from two nouns (for example newspaper or headline) or from a noun and a direction (sundown).
  9. Measures, numbers, money, months, days, years, clock time, and international words are in English forms.
  10. The wordlist can be augmented by the jargon of an industry or science. For example, in a grammar, words such as grammar or noun might be used, even though they are not on Ogden's wordlist.

To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

Historical references

In the future history book The Shape of Things to Come, published in 1933, H.G. Wells depicted Basic English as the lingua franca of a new elite which after a prolonged struggle succeeds on uniting the world and establishing a world government. In the future world of Wells' vision, virtually all members of humanity would know this langugue. A future history is a postulated history of the future that some science fiction authors construct as a common background for fiction. ... The Shape of Things to Come is a work of science fiction by H. G. Wells, published in 1933, which speculates on future events from 1933 until the year 2106. ... 1933 (MCMXXXIII) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will take you to calendar). ... H. G. Wells at the door of his house at Sandgate Herbert George Wells (September 21, 1866 - August 13, 1946) was an English writer best known for his science fiction novels such as The War of the Worlds and The Time Machine. ... Lingua franca, literally Frankish language in Italian, was originally a mixed language consisting largely of Italian plus a vocabulary drawn from Turkish, Persian, French, Greek and Arabic and used for communication throughout the Middle East. ... It has been suggested that World Federation be merged into this article or section. ...

Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt supported the idea of using Basic English as an international language, and Churchill recommended it in a speech at Harvard University in 1943. Amused critics said that "blood, toil, tears and sweat" translates into Basic English as "blood, hard work, eyewash and body water". ‹ The template below has been proposed for deletion. ... Franklin Delano Roosevelt (January 30, 1882–April 12, 1945), often referred to as FDR, was the 32nd (1933–1945) President of the United States. ... Harvard University (incorporated as The President and Fellows of Harvard College) is a private university in Cambridge, Massachusetts. ... 1943 (MCMXLIII) was a common year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1943 calendar). ...

According to the Times Educational Supplement's Talking To series, George Orwell might have parodied Basic English in his book Nineteen Eighty-Four. The references to Newspeak could be interpreted as a hidden critique against "universal languages". The Times Educational Supplement (TES) is a UK publication covering the world of primary, secondary and further education, as well as teaching job vacancies. ... Eric Arthur Blair (June 25, 1903[1][2] – January 21, 1950), better known by the pen name George Orwell, was an English author and journalist. ... Nineteen Eighty-Four (commonly abbreviated to 1984) is a dystopian novel by the English writer George Orwell, first published by Secker and Warburg in 1949. ... Newspeak is a fictional language in George Orwells novel Nineteen Eighty-Four. ... An international auxiliary language (sometimes abbreviated as IAL or auxlang) is a language used (or to be used in the future) for communication between people from different nations who do not share a common native language. ...

George Bernard Shaw is said to have subsidized Basic English, but this may be a misunderstanding: Shaw's real interest in language reform - and the bulk of his estate after his death - went to devising a new alphabet for non-Basic English. George Bernard Shaw (George) Bernard Shaw[1] (born Dublin, 26 July 1856 – died 2 November 1950 in Hertfordshire) was an Irish playwright based in the United Kingdom. ...

Noted science fiction author Robert A. Heinlein used a form of Basic English in his story "Gulf" as a language appropriate for a race of genius supermen.[citation needed] This article is becoming very long. ... Gulf (1949) is a novella by Robert A. Heinlein, originally published as a serial in the November and December 1949 issues of Astounding Science Fiction. ...

Word List

These are the 850 core words of Basic English. (See Appendix:Basic English word list)

See also

The Bible In Basic English (also known as BBE) is a translation of the Bible into Basic English. ... Baza (also known as Inter-esperanto) is a proposal to limit Esperanto to a vocabulary of about 450 words as an interlanguage between the various esperantidos. ... E-Prime, short for English Prime, is a modification of the English language that prohibits the use of the verb to be in all its forms. ... Special English is a simplified version of the English language used by the United States broadcasting service Voice of America in daily broadcasts. ... Simplified English is a controlled language originally developed for aerospace industry maintenance manuals. ... Wycliffe Bible Translators is an international, interdenominational or parachurch organization with U.S. headquarters in Orlando, Florida. ... Globish is a portmanteau neologism of the words Global and English. ... European English can refer to the following: The English language as used by European organisations, such as the European Union and the European Space Agency. ... The Simple English Wikipedia is an English edition of the Wikipedia encyclopedia, written in Basic English. ...

External links

Simple English edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

  Results from FactBites:
Basic English - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1108 words)
Basic English is a constructed language with a small number of words created by Charles Kay Ogden and described in his book Basic English: A General Introduction with Rules and Grammar (1930).
Criticism Basic English is not as effective as E-Prime at enabling non-judgemental communication, since "to be" is permitted but other words required to indicate states of being (e.g.
Charles Kay Ogden, Basic English and Grammatical Reform, Cambridge: The Orthological Institute.
BASIC programming language - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2666 words)
The original BASIC language was invented in 1963 by John Kemeny and Thomas Kurtz and implemented by a team of Dartmouth students under their direction.
BASIC was intended to address the complexity issues of older languages with a new language designed specifically for the new class of users the time-sharing systems allowed — that is, a "simpler" user who was not as interested in speed as in simply being able to use the machine.
BASIC also had the advantage that it was fairly well known to the young designers who took an interest in microcomputers at the time as a result of Kemeny and Kurtz's earlier proselytizing.
  More results at FactBites »



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