Why Basic English doesn't work

Basic English is an attempt to produce a fully expressive language using English grammar and a vocabulary of just 850 English words (plus technical terms). Originally it was intended to be an international auxiliary language, but more recently it's been advertised as a bridge to learning full English.

But Basic English is hopeless for either purpose. It replaces simple clear words like succeed (which has close analogues in other European languages), with paraphrases that don't make any sense unless you already know full English, like make good. Make good does mean "succeed (financially)" in full English, but that has absolutely nothing to do with the meanings of make and good in either full English or Basic English. Do well has been proposed as a substitute, but it leans on do, the most semantically bleached verb in the English language.

Furthermore, Basic English forces you to be vague and wordy. Here are some horrible examples in roughly increasing order of horribleness, showing the "awkward and ridiculous circumlocutions" that Basic makes necessary:

Full: He scratched his cheek.
Basic: He cut the side of his face.

Full: He hurt his forehead.
Basic: He did damage to the part of his face between his hair and eyes.

Full: She had lost her handkerchief.
Basic: She was unable to come across the square of linen used for blowing her nose.

Full: He does not shave every day.
Basic: He does not take hair off his face every day.

Full: Feel my pulse.
Basic: Take the rate of my heart.

Full: Put the chair in the corner.
Basic: Put the seat with back for one person in the angle between the two walls.

Full: He can play the piano.
Basic: He is able to make music on an instrument in which stretched wires are given blows by hammers worked from keys.

Full: She is a widow.
Basic: She is a woman not married again after the death of the man she was married to.

Full: The priest thanked the ladies.
Basic: The servant of the church said it was very good of the women of good birth to give him help.

Full: The officer led his soldiers against the enemy.
Basic: The person in military authority was the guide of his men in the army against the nation at war.

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