- Posted by Stephen Whiteley
- On 01/01/2013
- Linguistics, words
Some time back I wrote in my blog of a book in which there were no long words at all. And yet it did not feel at all strange to read it. In fact I asked a few Brits who are friends of mine if they felt it was in some way odd, and they all said it was just fine and looked at me as if I was mad, for it was not clear to them why I had asked them in the first place.
Why should I speak of this now? Well, when I was in bed late at night last week and could not seem to get to sleep, I set out to think up a few bits of text in which, just like the book, all the words would be short ones. Once you set your mind to it, it’s a lot less hard than you might think. At first it seems much too tough a task, yet once you have solved the first few lines, you sort of get in your stride and I found I could keep up quite a good pace. What struck me most was how fast I got the hang of it. I bet a lot of those of you read these few words could do it just as well as me, once you learnt the knack. Of course there are some words you can’t use and so it can be tough to find the right way to say some things, but with a bit of thought you tend to find there is a way round it each time. You may need to use some words which sound a bit out of date, such as “nought” and “folk” and “tongue” since you can’t use the more oft used long ones which first spring to mind. (I’ll leave you to guess which long words each of these has to stand in for.)
Hey, that was not such a big deal in the end, was it! Why don’t you have a try?