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For the best learning of our friends in this place, should we attempt to write all or our answers in up goer five words?

This would help people who do not have a lot of words that they know understand new words.

Maybe the place for adding a new answer could let people know when they are using the right words?

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For the best learning of our friends in this place, should we attempt to write all or our answers in up goer five words?

This would help people who do not have a lot of words that they know understand new words.

Maybe the place for adding a new answer could let people know when they are using the right words?

I noticed that your question "passes" the up goer five test. I'd also like to point out that, even though all of the words are simple, the question itself was hard to read and comprehend. It has a very disjointed, unnatural feel; I didn't find any of those three sentences particularly easy to grasp on the first pass.

I think your intent is good (let's not overwhelm an English language learner with words that they might not understand). However, such severe self-imposed restrictions run the risk of making something less understandable, once these ultra-basic words are assembled together. The language loses precision, which can cause it to lose meaning. The language loses its richness, making it read less fluidly. The words may be simpler, but the sentences can be harder to understand.

Even though I disagreed with your suggestion, I do agree with your motives. Not only that, this is the first time I had seen that very interesting website, so I appreciate the time you took to compose your question, and to share your thoughts.

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    +1 I had to read the question three time to comprehend it. – temporary_user_name Feb 5 '13 at 2:51
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True story:

Twenty-one years ago my wife and our son were sitting in McDonald's, eating and chatting. A stranger at an adjacent table approached my wife and said "Excuse me, but may I ask how old your son is?"

"Fifteen, no, sixteen months."

"That's astonishing" he said. "I'm a speech pathologist, I work with children, and I noticed your son is speaking in complete sentences. Consistently. Children his age don't do that, not til much later. I've never seen a child that young speaking that way."

And my wife answered, mildly (and perhaps a little smugly), "That's how we talk to him."

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    Aside from the fact that this is an unverifiable anecdote, did you have a point to make? Are we expecting the site to be used by 15-16 month olds? Is learning a language at that age the same as for older teens/adults? (I'd guess not). – Tom Medley Feb 1 '13 at 13:31
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    You learn language by being immersed in it, by hearing and reading and using it. If all you hear and read is a thousand words, that's all you'll learn. – StoneyB on hiatus Feb 1 '13 at 14:42
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    You learn language by being immersed in it. So what exactly is this site for? – Tom Medley Feb 1 '13 at 14:55
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    I don't mind "unverifiable" anecdotes if they happened to the person writing the answer. Are we not supposed to include our life experiences here? Are we mere automatons? Moreover, I agree with this sentiment; I understood the point right away, and heartily agree with it: it's unwise to put vocabulary restrictions on contributors. (Translation: I would not want this for this site. I would not want this - it's not right. Ten hundred words is simple stuff. Ten hundred words are not enough.) P.S. (to Stoney) Unverifiable, indeed! Did you ask to see that alleged pathologist's credentials? ;^) – J.R. Feb 1 '13 at 15:59
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I do not think that such a severe restriction on words would be reasonable. Up-Goer Five's dictionary is missing quite a few words that are critical to discussing language, such as the names of all parts of speech. Additionally, the most common words are not necessarily the best words for a particular purpose.

"You learn language by being immersed in it, by hearing and reading and using it. If all you hear and read is a thousand words, that's all you'll learn." – StoneyB

Once you acquire basic vocabulary and grammar skills, language immersion is the best way to learn. Anyone who posts here has probably already learned the most basic things, and are trying to learn more. Thus, I think we would be doing them a disservice by limiting posts to the most common 1000 words.

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I try to explain things in simple words because I hope more people will be able to understand it. However, even though I love the up-goer five, I think the ten hundred most used words are not the only words we will need here. I like others to use simple writing, too, but I don't want our word box to tell people it is wrong to use a hard word to explain something hard.

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