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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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My Up-goer Five bio [20130121|15:09]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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On being a spacecraft engineer, using only the ten hundred most used English words:

I went to school for a long, long time. I tried a job doing exactly what I had studied but I didn't like it enough to keep doing it. So I moved far away and tried again.

Now I have job I enjoy. I work with a group of people who build things. Our things get sent into space. They tell us how much of something that we can't see, smell, touch or hear is present in space. It takes a long time to build a thing that can go into space and stay on for years. We have to make sure our things don't break easily and don't use too much power. I use a computer to make sure that the stuff our things tell us is right. This is so that we can learn about our world and other worlds. We want to know things like: how shifting lights in the sky form, how the hot stuff in the middle of worlds helps keep them safe from the stars and how to find worlds that could have life on them.

Right now I'm taking a break from my job because I had a baby. I take a lot of pictures of my baby, my boyfriend, my cat and my house. I also like to tell true stories to my friends and to paint. I live in a place that lets me spend time raising my baby without losing my job. This place also gave me free care during the time just before I had my baby. I'm happy because when I do my job, I help to pay for this care for myself and for other people who can't pay for it. This is very good and I wish it were true in more places, like the place where I used to live.

(Created using the Up-goer Five text editor http://splasho.com/upgoer5/, which challenges you to use only the ten hundred most common words to explain an idea.

Words I was unable to use: instrument, measure, device, engineer, planet, system, country, partner. Worst of all, the word “science” was forbidden. Argh!)

Unpaid work and universal childcare by [personal profile] rmc28
Singlet oxygen by [personal profile] holdthesky
Political canvassing by [personal profile] miss_s_b
Working for a Fair Trade organisation by [personal profile] ironed_orchid
Working as a clinical psychologist by [personal profile] vi
Working in retail by [personal profile] pbristow
Working in the hotel industry written begrudgingly by [personal profile] gominokouhai
Virtualization and "the cloud" by [personal profile] azurelunatic
Researching politics, gender and human rights by [personal profile] ajnabieh
On being a physics teacher by [personal profile] crystalpyramid
Space science & outreach by [personal profile] rinkle
Teaching people about dinosaurs by [personal profile] innerbrat

ETA: They accepted my submission to the Ten Hundred Words of Science tumblr: here.

[User Picture]From: danaid_luv
2013-01-21 18:35 (UTC)
I liked it! I wondered about the lack of certain key words but now I know why--nicely done : )
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2013-01-23 15:28 (UTC)
Yay! Thank you. Yes, I tried a couple of times to come up with a way to explain magnetometers and finally gave up, as it would have taken up the entire description. I may attempt it separately when Humuhumu gives me a couple of hours again...
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[User Picture]From: melissa_maples
2013-01-21 18:52 (UTC)
omg I am so stealing this.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2013-01-23 15:28 (UTC)
Your bio was fantastic. You conveyed so much using so few of the allowed words.
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[User Picture]From: pax_athena
2013-01-21 23:03 (UTC)
Oh, this is awesome and so well explained!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2013-01-23 15:29 (UTC)
Thank you! There are some good astro ones on the Tumblr. :)
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2013-01-23 15:31 (UTC)
The meme has made me appreciate the size of the average DW/LJer's vocabulary - at least the ones on my reading lists!
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[User Picture]From: flexagain
2013-01-26 14:23 (UTC)
Where I have issues with this XKCD meme, is that it grossly over simplifies the concept, and isn't particularly original or new. It does allow for a certain amount of humour over the lexical acrobatics involved, but that is only a limited subset of the problem.

Basic English was suggested in 1930, and gained some popularity, as have other artificial languages, most notably Esperanto. In more recent times, Simplified Technical English has gained a certain amount of use in the Aerospace industry, where making sure that a technician does maintenance on an aircraft engine correctly is much more important than allowing literary flexibility.

Of course, things like Simplified Technical English are about a lot more than just a limited dictionary. STE defines many features of the syntax and use of the language, which people are very likely to ignore when writing these sort of summaries, but which are important in avoiding ambiguities, and allowing clear and coherent use of language.

STE also allows the use of limited sets of technical and specialised terms, so long as there are some features of the language, which are also followed when using these specialised dictionaries. STE also allows the use of numbers, so clumsy constructions like "ten hundred" are simply replaced by "1000". Limitations made without considering a more pragmatic approach to language use, is missing the basis of these constraints.
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[User Picture]From: sanat
2013-01-28 01:31 (UTC)
"how the hot stuff in the middle of worlds helps keep them safe from the stars", heeheeheehee. Love it!
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