Re: What is Simplified English?

Subject: Re: What is Simplified English?
From: "Broberg, Mats" <mabr -at- flir -dot- se>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 12 Aug 2005 12:53:07 +0200

> Subject: What is Simplified English?
> From: "A.H." <isaac840 -at- yahoo -dot- com>
> To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
> Date: Tue, 12 Jul 2005 09:26:36 -0700 (PDT)
> Hello, all,
> I've seen a few references to Simplified English in
> reponse to the thread "Industry Standards." What is
> it?
> Thanks,
> Anthony Hernandez

Just back from vacation, so this is a bit late.

"Simplified English" is the former name for what is now called
"Simplified Technical English". It has nothing to do with "Basic
English", which is Charles K. Ogden's subset of the English language
from 1930.

"Simplified English" is an industry standard (former designation
PSC-85-16598) that was jointly developed in the late 1970's by European
Association of Aerospace Industries (AECMA) and Aerospace Industries
Association (AIA). The first release was February 15th, 1986 and the
last issue was released in January 2005 (Issue 3).

The standard is now called "ASD STE100 Simplified Technical English" and
is maintained by ASD, which is a merger of AECMA, EDIG and EUROSPACE.

Quoting from the ASD STE 100 website:


"ASD Simplified Technical English(tm) is a set of Writing Rules and a
Dictionary of controlled vocabulary. The Dictionary has sufficient words
to express any technical sentence. The words were chosen for their
simplicity and ease of recognition.

When there are several words in English for a certain thing or action
(synonyms), this Specification selects one of these synonyms to the
exclusion of the others (whenever possible, "one word - one meaning").
For example, "start" was chosen instead of "begin", "commence",
"initiate", or "originate". When there is a choice between American
English and British English words and spelling, the American version is
used (Merriam-Webster's Dictionary).

When there are several possible definitions of a word in English, the
Specification selects one of these definitions to the exclusion of the
others (whenever possible, "one word - one meaning"). For example, "to
fall" has the definition of "to move down by the force of gravity", not


When writing a text according to STE you usually use some kind of
checker that checks the usage of approved words and compliance to the
grammatical rules, eg,

The official ASD STE100 web page:

Distributors of the specification:

At FLIR Systems I use ASD STE100 for some manuals since a year back or
so. Our experience is that it increases comprehensions and clarity of
the documentation substantially, and decreases translations costs.

Best regards,
Mats Broberg
Technical Documentation Manager


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