I was just reading the following post on The Panda’s Thumb: Challenge: research in the 1000 most common words. Basically, it is pointing to a list of the 1000 most common words in the English language and challenging you to write a simple statement of your research that is only using words from this list.
There’s this link that will check it for you when typing.
That’s really challenging. I lost at this game. This has a lot to do with the fact that I’m currently working in a discipline that cannot avoid a minimal jargon: phytopathology, the science of plant pests and plant illness. Any word related to pests (pathogens, fungi, microbes, viruses) are forbidden first. And it all begun with “plant” itself, which is not allowed (plants do not belong the 1000 commonest, does it make sense?). I’m afraid there’s no way I can express my research under such a challenging constraint. The best I came up with was this:
I study how small cell things are attacking bigger green things that need light and water to grow.
And frankly, this is just a way to weave in implicit meaning. That is, I’m utterly wrong. Anybody ignoring or not getting the implicit that green things that need light and water to grow means plant won’t have the slightest idea as to what I’m doing in my job. Not to say “small cell things” is any better -it is much worse indeed. It’s a very bad way to imply I’m working on fungi, the only idea I get somewhat right is that they are plant enemies.
I think I need to ponder about simpler ways to tell what I’m doing in my job…