Abstruse English


I appreciate the worth of restricted varieties of English that solely contain frequently utilized words, exemplified by the Simple English Wikipedia and Randall Munroe’s volume Thing Explainer. Pondering these varieties, an additional query materialized to me: what if in lieu of increasing the straightforwardness of the vocabulary, I increased its complexity and unpleasantness?

Consequently arose Abstruse English.

Regulations of Abstruse English

Abstruse English excludes from its vocabulary the 1,000 English lexical items utilized with maximal frequency. Abstruse English permits essential exceptions:

  • Articles (“the”, “a”)
  • Pronouns (“I”, “it”)
  • Prepositions (“of”, “as”)
  • Conjunctions (“and”)
  • ”No” and “not”
Abstruse English additionally permits numerals ("1,000") and capitalized nomina propria (“Abstruse English”, “Randall Munroe”).

Auxiliary Challenges

The vocabulary of Abstruse English entirely lacks varieties of the lexical item “to be”. Consequently, the constraints resemble E-Prime, a restricted dialect of English lacking conjugations and contractions of that lexical item.

Abstruse English additionally lacks varieties of “to do”, necessitating atypical negations.

Utilize not Abstruse English; it lacks utility and elegance.