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TOPIC:

Sterling in 300 words

14
Mussboigah!!!
04-01-2002
09:29 AM ET (US)
It's not a "story" unless it makes a minimal amount of sense (which this doesn't), or it has a story-LINE (which this doesn't, as the words by necessity are only used once: they're more like random points, the equivalent of Ley-Line hunting in words.) Its not even clever. It is, however, a great example of the desperation that eventually arises in one who feels that he MUST!...REMAIN!...HIP!...at all costs. Sort of like those iritating harebrains who are continually inventing slang words and using them in public forums, in the hope that the words in question will eventually find they're way into common speech, lol.
13
Pat YorkPerson was signed in when posted
03-31-2002
01:10 PM ET (US)
Now I can see it! Thanks.
12
Cory Doctorow
03-30-2002
07:22 PM ET (US)
Ack. How bout now?
11
Stefan Jones
03-30-2002
07:16 PM ET (US)
Now it's just blank, Cory.
10
sam
03-29-2002
09:46 PM ET (US)
This is slightly related, and quite amusing..

There was a story written in 1969 by a French author, Georges Perec, called "The Void". It was a 200-page novel that did not contain a single instance of the letter 'e'!

The original was written in French, but what is even more amazing is that an English novelist, Gilbert Adair, managed to translate it into English and yet still maintain the lack of 'e'! It's actually quite readable too. There's an excerpt at:

http://www-control.eng.cam.ac.uk/hu/Perec.html

The opening paragraph is also reprinted in "The Code Book" by Simon Singh (a book on the history of cryptography).

For an interesting look at the history of the English language I can highly recommend Bill Bryson's "Mother Tongue - The English Language". After reading it you can really see how wonderfully expressive the English language actually is.
9
Cory Doctorow
03-29-2002
09:45 PM ET (US)
Crap. Had the wrong file.
8
Cory Doctorow
03-29-2002
09:39 PM ET (US)
Bruce wrote it, applying punctuation to the list...
7
jkottke
03-29-2002
09:35 PM ET (US)
So who the heck did write the 300 word thing? Bruce or some other person?
6
Stefan JonesPerson was signed in when posted
03-29-2002
06:57 PM ET (US)
I was expecting something along the lines of what jkottke pointed us to. A Value Added by Sterling rearrangement of The Words.

Hmm. I wonder how the 300 Most Common Words have changed through the decades.

Will there come a time when "like you know" are all tied for a spot in the top ten, preceded by "uhh?" and "what?"
5
jkottke
03-29-2002
05:55 PM ET (US)
See also Bob Saget and Britney Spears Discuss the Fleeting Nature of Fame, Using Only the 100 Most Common Words in the English Language:

http://www.freedonian.com/saget_350_F.html
4
denise czajaPerson was signed in when posted
03-29-2002
05:17 PM ET (US)
aw, come on. cory is allowed a brain fart on occasion. it's not easy being a defender of freedom & justice. hehe.
3
xradiographer
03-29-2002
04:24 PM ET (US)
woah, it's like Deja Vu....

The 300 most common words
Derryl sez, "It reads like a zen poem."

the of and a to in is you that it he for was on are as with his they at be this from I have or by one had not but what all were when we there can an your which their said if do will each about how up out them then she many some so these would other into has more her two like him see time could no make than first been its who now people my made over did down only way find use may water long little very after words called just where most know
Link Discuss (Thanks, Derryl!)
posted by Cory Doctorow at 22:16 permanent link to this entry http://www.zingman.com/commonWords.html
2
Stefan JonesPerson was signed in when posted
03-29-2002
03:31 PM ET (US)
Is that the right link, Cory? It appears to be the 300 most common words, not a story using those words.
1
Dave
03-29-2002
03:26 PM ET (US)
um...

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