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Can you describe your science using common words?

January 17, 2013

Every once in a while the internet produces something elegant. Here’s a simple and, in my opinion, brilliant web text editor that forces you to use only the 1,000 most common words in the English language.

Here’s my attempt at describing my research:

upgoerTry it. Whether or not you are satisfied with the result, I think going through this intellectual exercise is worth it. I was forced to pause and think about what word to use several times. I’ve already passed this on to my graduate students and some colleagues. I will definitely use this in the future for teaching as well.

Highly Allochthonous is compiling a list of examples from many geoscientists.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. January 17, 2013 8:12 am

    This was a great exercise for me and the restrictions made me really focus on my message. It was also helpful because as a geology undergrad I am often explaining what exactly it is I do, and plan to do in the future, to people who usually have no clue what I am talking about. It’s nice to keep things simple sometimes!

  2. January 17, 2013 1:03 pm

    I love it! Thank you for posting about this, I will have to give it a try. Not sure if with Geophysics, Visualisation, or both.

  3. January 17, 2013 6:14 pm

    Cool idea. Simple is better, yeah? Rock talk can get pretty complicated. That’s a nice example of breaking it down. Thanks for sharing.

  4. claire permalink
    January 27, 2013 11:55 pm

    Really scary what constitutes simplification ! I REALLY hope this is not the direction we are headed in future… oversimplification can sometimes completely change what we are trying to say… -How would you descirbe metamorphic petrology without using either the term temperature or the word pressure!

    • Henry permalink
      February 6, 2013 3:11 pm

      Metamorphic petrology – studying how rocks change when they get hot and squeezed

  5. January 28, 2013 6:49 am

    Claire … to me, this is just a fun exercise. It’s about the thought process and not necessarily the result. In fact, I’d say this meme has run its course.

  6. Henry permalink
    February 6, 2013 3:16 pm

    This topic reminds of an NSF short course I took a few years ago on being an effective science communicator. The workshop was titled Sience: Becoming the Messenger

    • Henry permalink
      February 6, 2013 3:20 pm

      clearly I didn’t learn grammar or spelling at the workshop…sorry


  1. Jumping on the #1000words bandwagon… | Paleowave

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