Ogden’s Basic English
The inspiration for many simplified and limited forms of English is C.K. Ogden’s Basic English, developed in the 1930s.
Ogden proposed that English should be learned and used globally.
The main drawbacks to English as a global language, as he saw it, were its wild spelling practices and its immense vocabulary.
(The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary has 25,000 entries.)
Ogden’s spelling crusade—like everyone else’s—failed. But his attack on vocabulary was far more successful.
Ogden proposed that the rich mess of English vocabulary could be reduced to 850 words, and that this tiny list, capable of being learned in a few days or weeks.
- U-words—umbrella under unit up use
- Y-words—year yellow yes yesterday you young
“dog doctor” for “veterinarian,” for example.
the word list is still used as the basic vocabulary in beginner’s courses on English, especially in Asia.