Try it out yourself!

Are you wondering how hard is it to write using only the most common 1,000 words in English? You can try it out for yourself using the Comment Box found on this page

If a word is not included in the 1,000 words list, a suggestion for a replacement will appear in the Suggestion box.

You can also limit your character count to 140 characters by ticking the Twitter checkbox.

Festive competition!

Santa_hat.svg_

For your chance to win a signed copy "The Edge of The Sky", use the 1000 words comment box below to compose your Christmas letter to Santa, then submit it by Twitter at #upgoer5 or post in the comments below, giving a contact email address.

The best Tweet and best comment, as decided by Roberto will win a book and goodie bag each!

The competition is now closed , many thanks to all of you who entered it! And the winner is... Dahlia! But there is still a few days until Xmas for you to write your special letter to Mr Santa! Try it out below!

What are the rules?

The rules I adopted in The Edge of the Sky are that all the words on the 1,000 words list are allowed, and so are words obtained from the list by adding the following suffixes: -(e)s, -er, -ed, -ing (possibly in sequence. So -ers is also allowed).

For adjectives, comparatives (-er) and superlatives (-est) can be formed from the adjective given.

Adverbs can only be used if present in the list, e.g. "completely" is allowed (because it appears as such in the list), but "deeply" is not allowed (because only "deep" appears on the list).

Possessive forms are allowed, as well.

So are names of people (but not names of places - although obviously the box below won't be able to distinguish between the two, so it's up to you to stick to the rules!). Capitalized words are allowed so that you can use names of people, but don't use this feature to cheat! :) In Twitter mode, usernames with @ handles and hashtags are also allowed.

What are the allowed words?

Here is the list of the most common 1,000 words in English I used.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on The Edge of the Sky , written using only the most common 1,000 words.

Please post them here or join the conversation via Twitter: @R_Trotta, #TheEdgeOfTheSky, #1000words, #upgoer5.

Please use this comment box for now (the one below is temporarily broken)

24 Comments

  1. roberto
    September 22, 2014

    Welcome to the ten-hundred words box! I’d love to hear your thoughts using only the most-used ten-hundred words in this tongue!

    Reply
  2. Meg Rosenburg
    October 23, 2014

    Thanks for taking the time to talk with me this week about #TheEdgeoftheSky for New Books in Physics! The #1000words idea has so much to offer when talking about the All-There-Is and the work and lives of student-people. I enjoyed it very much!

    Reply
    • roberto
      December 2, 2014

      Thanks Meg! I was very happy to talk to you and I really had a great time! I’m so glad you enjoyed The Edge of the Sky!

      Reply
  3. Can the universe be described in simple English? | British Council Voices
    November 12, 2014

    […] try out for yourself how it feels like to be writing with only the most common 1,000 words in this specially designed comment box on my […]

    Reply
  4. Meriame
    November 30, 2014

    Hi Roberto,

    Excellent idea for a new book and it’s been a hit! Congratulations!

    Here’s me having a go at what you did, it is harder than it sounds, great job!
    A lot of women student-people find out amazing things yet they are hidden away and never known about. Like me, a lot of women student-people felt alone in the field of ‘learning more about our home’ but now there are lots of other women student-people who want to change this and make others feel like they fit in this field. Us women student-people fit in better now but there is still some work left to do, so share your story and make other women feel like they fit in! 🙂

    Reply
    • roberto
      December 8, 2014

      Great to hear that the number of student-women in your field is picking up! For sure we do need more student-women asking hard Why? questions.

      I wanted to have a student-woman go work with Big-Seer in my book in part because I think it’s important to show to young women how exciting having a job in this field is – and that they can be part of it.

      I wish you to be able to help other student-women to-be to follow your foot steps!

      Reply
  5. Dahlia
    December 7, 2014

    Hello my name is Dahlia. I am seven times two years old. I would like to be a student woman / writer when I grow up and I loved reading your book! I already knew about many of the things you wrote of and so I enjoyed how you made the All-There-Is stuff sound so nice and child like yet still great for real student people to read. 🙂

    Reply
    • roberto
      December 8, 2014

      Hi Dahlia

      Thanks for letting me know your thoughts about the book! I’m so happy to hear you liked it! 🙂

      I hope your dream of becoming a student-woman and / or a writer will come true. I think it’s very important to follow your calling in life, and even if it’s hard work it will not seem like it to you if you love what you are doing.

      Reply
  6. Patrick
    December 8, 2014

    Dear Santa,
    Did you know that there were many people in the world, even here in London, that think that we do not have to learn stuff about the world around us? I find that so sad! I am a student of those things and this Christmas I would like to make these people happy. My wish is: Could you please show them how important and interesting these matters are.
    You could tell us how you ride with your animals and manage to bring the presents to the children just in time although you have to cross so many places. I believe that would open the eyes of many people. Also you can for sure explain that to them in a very easy way so that we can understand it without problems.
    Thank you very much for help!

    Best wishes

    Patrick

    Reply
  7. Maren Kværnø Sutton
    December 10, 2014

    Dear Givingman. I imagine that there’s important business in my box for the cold, red Givingday. I softly share surprises and songs with you.

    Reply
  8. James Stubbs
    December 11, 2014

    Hello Santa!

    I have been a good boy this year because I have tried to be at all my music

    Reply
  9. Simon
    December 11, 2014

    Dear Mr Santa,
    I hope you are getting ready for Christmas Day. It must be a very busy time for you! Are you making lots of presents for all of the children around the world? How are your flying animals? My favorite is Rudolph because I like his red nose. I also like Dancer because I like to dance. For Christmas I would really like a new house for small people toys and some sweets.

    I am very excited for Christmas day!

    Reply
  10. Alex
    December 11, 2014

    Dear Santa,

    This year, I would like you to bring me a music playing thing with keys that Mozart played. I would like one that runs on power from the wall, if that is possible. Can you bring me a stand and a seat for it as well, as I would like to learn how to play. I hope you can take presents to all the other children’s houses and I hope they leave you tasty sweet treats and some fruit water to eat and a carrot for the point-headed horses. Have a good and happy Christmas.

    Thanks,

    Alex

    Reply
  11. peter cullimore
    December 11, 2014

    Dear Mr Santa

    Thank you for our good year. i am happy about it.
    This year I would like a nice

    Reply
  12. Alexandra Dimitrakaki
    December 11, 2014

    Dear Mr Santa
    Just explain God people simply love kiss smile hugs happy moments flying stars and relaxing (Done at the Fringe event)

    Reply
  13. peter palgan
    December 11, 2014

    dear big father of the red and white who comes down with small horses with the red tops and heads made with trees that grow out of them.

    in this big round world of the blue and green that becomes white and cold for some, for others it stays warm and green and blue, and yet still you to me this year and give me what i wish in a big box, or small box, wrapped in wet fire and with small paper within which are happy black ink notes

    i will wait for you next to the big fire, and the tree that smells of green, with a glass of warmth by my side, and should i sleep, make not a sound, for i dream and wish, that you will come round.

    Reply
  14. Nina
    December 11, 2014

    Dear Santa,
    i wish all people in the world to be happy and enjoy time with the ones they love.

    Reply
  15. Dahlia
    December 12, 2014

    Dear Santa, man of red and white who lives for ten hundred hundred hundred years and never tires of making children feel warm in their hearts, I would like you to keep doing what you do best. Dear Santa, man with ice horses who grow trees from their heads, please never let the happy cold time fun die. Dear Santa, when the home place goes to rest under a bed of white, please make sure that the colored star lights of people’s homes never go out and let the night turn dark. When we all light up our trees with pretty star lights. Santa, we come together to be happy even though we have not always loved each other. Love for being happy , sir, is what makes this time of year so special. I want nothing but to keep that love in me and never lose it, so that I may be good to others all year round. If we all may learn not to hate others all year, not just the time when your voice rings sweet in the air, we may learn to love our selves. Dear Santa, when the trees wake up and make my home green again with their new life, do not ever forget why you once came to warm our cold hearts.

    Reply
  16. Meriame
    December 12, 2014

    Dear Santa,

    Thank you very much for the presents you gave me in the last ten add eight add one years, in that time I learnt lots of amazing things about my home. Things like why the sky is blue, why soft, white ice falls from the sky when you come sometimes but then I got thinking about how you give all the presents to everyone on time.
    So here are my thoughts…
    Firstly, I thought of the different times of day and night around the world and how you would chase the dark night but this did not work because it would mean that you have to move very, very, very, very fast which would make you burn because of all the air rubbing against you just like space-rocks that enter our air bubble .
    So then I thought about how very small matter works and its strange ways. The story of the very small goes like this, everything is a wave that is all around us and can make its way through walls sometimes. And because you know when we are sleeping and when we are up and whether we have been bad or good then I am sure you know how to use this ‘power’ and give us presents. So thank you for not only the presents but for working so hard to give them to us.

    Thank you.

    Reply
  17. Zahra Najib
    December 16, 2014

    Dear Santa,
    This is my first letter to you. I will try not to ask for too much. My only wish is to be able to keep playing the music playing thing. I find that I’m beginning to let go of it. I fear playing it now because I’m not able to play well but I wish to get better. I miss it. So I will ask for two things. I first ask for you to bring back my reason for playing. I will also ask for a teacher to allow me to continue playing.

    Reply
  18. roberto
    December 17, 2014

    AND THE WINNER IS…. Dahlia! For her beautiful, moving letter to Mr Santa:

    “Dear Santa, man of red and white who lives for ten hundred hundred hundred years and never tires of making children feel warm in their hearts, I would like you to keep doing what you do best. Dear Santa, man with ice horses who grow trees from their heads, please never let the happy cold time fun die. Dear Santa, when the home place goes to rest under a bed of white, please make sure that the colored star lights of people’s homes never go out and let the night turn dark. When we all light up our trees with pretty star lights. Santa, we come together to be happy even though we have not always loved each other. Love for being happy , sir, is what makes this time of year so special. I want nothing but to keep that love in me and never lose it, so that I may be good to others all year round. If we all may learn not to hate others all year, not just the time when your voice rings sweet in the air, we may learn to love our selves. Dear Santa, when the trees wake up and make my home green again with their new life, do not ever forget why you once came to warm our cold hearts. ”

    WELL DONE! A present from me is on its way to you. I hope it gets there before Mr Santa comes by!

    Reply
  19. Renee
    January 7, 2015

    I study the first moments of the life of all of space, what space is made of, how space changes with time, and how it will all end. I use light that is very cold and that comes from just after the beginning of everything. I also use stars-that-went-pop time a very long time ago to tell us how space is pulled and pushed by the stuff inside it. From all these things we find that lots of space is made from dark stuff, some that pulls as we expect and some that pushes space much harder than we thought it would. This dark push-stuff will make space end in cold, empty and huge – a very long time from now. Isn’t it exciting?!

    Reply
  20. Technically Speaking: Simple is Hard | USAASC
    January 20, 2015

    […] you to take the 1,000 words challenge and try to explain your own work by visiting my website, http://robertotrotta.com/1000-words/. I’d be delighted to hear from […]

    Reply
  21. Richard Last
    May 29, 2015

    Dear Dr Trotta,

    Can you tell me the date of the talk you will be doing at the Department of Chemistry in Cambridge U.K. ?

    I would love to here you speak and hope to be able to come along.

    Yours Faithfully,

    Richard Last

    Reply

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