BASIC English is all right, but it has too many words. To speak Basic English, you have to learn 850 words — too many. You do not do 850 things and you do not have 850 things, so why have so many words?

This writing is in Baser English. Tt has just 85 words, and that is all. All the things you do, all the things you have, do not add up to more than 85, including antimacassars and fudge.1 Boiling the 850 words of Basic English down to the 85 words of Baser English, we have 1 word for 10, and so Baser is 10 times better.

We speak right up and say that Basic English is overweeningly prolix.2

Basic is not for many people, because there are all those words to learn so many, so many. Say you are green and writing is not easy for you — you will not want 850 words, will your No. But Baser English, with 85 words, will give you all you want, and more. Baser English is for all you people, you that want nothing but the right words. We are about to give you what you want, and with right good will, too.

To speak good Baser English, all you have to do is sav the things you want to say - no beating about the bush. If you want to say “spinach,”why, you just say “spinach,” and that is all there is to it. In Basic English, if you want to say “spinach, ‘ you have to go on and on, and say “that plant with dark green leaves which go almost to nothing on boiling.”3 That is no good. If you say lhat, people will give you the bird, because it leaves them in the dark, or almost in the dark, as to what you mean. Spinach is just spinach. We do not want to be mean, but it just is not worth it to try to say “spinach” in Basic, is it ? All those words— 13 of them, are there not? — and, so to speak, they just do not add up to “spinach.”

Many a plant has dark green leaves that go to almost nothing on boiling, not just spinach. What about lettuce? If you say “spinach” you do not mean “lettuce,” do you? And you do not want lettuce, you want spinach. (Can it be that people who speak Basic do not want spinach? That is all right if it is so, for spinach is no good. But we say to you thal spinach is just 1 of many things you have to say. Lettuce is good. What about lettuce?)

And many times, in writing, you want to say “A bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush.” In Baser English you can just say it, but in Basic you have to fudge it, so: “A bird in the hand is worth 2 in the tiling.” No good, no good! But Basic has no word for “bush,” and there you are. Try as you will, you can not say “bush” in Basic. Say “bush,” you Basic English people! Prolix as you are, you can not say it.

To all people that want better writing, to all that want to speak right, we hand down the words, “Up with Baser English and down with Basic!” Writing words that mean nothing is easy, as in Basic, but we say it is spinach and we say thewith it.

  1. Try and say that in Basic English.
  2. Or that. Just try it.
  3. The System of Baste English, by C. K. Ogden, p. 177.