23 February 2009

Wikipedia in simplified English: Double plus good?

I have just learned about the simplified English version of Wikipedia from xkcd. It is Wikipedia, written for beginning English readers. That means the writers use simple words and short sentences. This makes them sound like Ernest Hemmingway. Simple English Wikipedia does not have an entry for Ernest Hemmingway. A search for "Ernest Hemmingway" on Simple English Wikipedia finds only a reference to Fall Out Boy and an article about Aleister Crowley.

There is one word I always look up when I want to try a new reference source.
Evolution
In the study of life and living things, evolution is the term used to describe the way a type of living thing changes over a long period of time. "Evolution" is a scientific theory (an explanation) that is used by scientists to explain why different creatures and plants are the way that they are, and act the way that they do.
That is pretty good.
A horse has a single hoof on each foot, a cow has two, a bird has its whole arm changed into a wing, and a human has a hand. But if we look at fossils - made when very old dead things got squashed between clay or sand, which hardened into rocks, we can see all these animals were once one type of animal: Fishes.
That is not as good. I am not sure why this is.

I lied. There are two words I always look up to try new reference sources. Can you guess the other one?
Mennonites
The Mennonites are a group of Christian Anabaptists named after Menno Simons (1496–1561). His teachings were a relatively minor influence on the group,though. They are of the historic peace churches. Mennonites are committed to nonviolence, nonviolent resistance/reconciliation, and pacifism.
That is double plus not as good. I am afraid that if I write like this much longer, I will forget how to write long sentences.

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