Hogben, in Essential World English, builds upon Ogden's Basic English
with what he considers to be improvements.
PART I. Principles and Definitions
Chapter One, the Need, reconfirms the need for an
auxiliary language of world scope, and expands upon Ogden's
Basic English to make it more easily accepted.
Chapter Two, The Problems, is fascinating because it gives
voice to many of the problems of a language that Ogden must have
confronted, but did not describe his deliberations. Where Ogden
just gave his conclusions in the Rules, Hogben shows that different
decisions on details can be reached to some of the same problems our
current people are addressing in determining which words and derivatives
to include in the electronic wordlists. Example, he has no trouble
with the suffix -less because it always means "without",
whereas we agonized over its not being identical to the
comparative word "less", in fact there is a big difference between less and none.
Whereas we have accepted -able just
because it does mean the same as the word "able" - -which has multiple
meanings. Hodges points out the nature of different Latin and Germanic
meanings that evolved into the same modern English word.
Both authors make much on the only absolute definition being a picture.
For example, to describe a starling, an excess of
words is required in a doomed attempt to distinguish it from other
similar birds, yet any country person can infallibly point to one.
Both authors address the problem of turns of phrase that do not make
literal sense. Hogben calls these expressions "replacement formula"
to common English, but inadequate as a definition. Ogden calls them "idiom"
Chapter Three, The Mnemontechnics of Language Learning.
Chapter Four, Criteria of Word Choice.
Chapter Five, The Mnemontechnics of Spelling.
Chapter Six, The Pathology of Grammar.
(more) PART II. Grammar and Vocabulary of E.W.E.
Chapter Seven, The Main Features of Essential English Grammar.
Chapter Eight, The Main Features of Essential English Grammar (cont'd)
Chapter Nine, The List of Essential Semantic Units.
We have here set forth the L.E.S.U. in 26 primary sets of 50 items each, i.e. a six months' programme at one set per week, together with a supplementary list of 100 items (Sets 27 and 28).
(more) PART III. Glossaries of E.W.E. Equivalents for S.E. terms not included in the L.E.S.U.
1 . Numbered List
2 . E.W.E. Equivalents for Some Common S.E. Holophrases
Basic English responds.
Hogben faults Ogden for the principle of
word economy which
those of us writing definitions find so valuable. The luxury of
expansiveness is only afforded to those who come later, after the
groundwork has been established, tested, and more resources made
available. There is a major schism between those who think a
universal language should have a unique word for every required
concept and the real life. Ogden chose to use multivalent words that addressed all
required concepts (and more) but limited the number of different
words the student had to learn to learn, pronounce and spell. Thus the
learner was quickly made compatible with the standard English fact
that the same word has multiple meanings and was not shocked upon
entering the real world.
Hogben's writing style is academic and as such is
between Ogden's two styles -- Ogden as a academic tends to the
stuffy and dry, yet as a publisher, often in Basic English, he
is a delightfully clear.