Douglas Hellinger
Douglas Hellinger
Creator of this blog.
Jul 12, 2022 1 min read

An Explainer Using the 1000 Most Used English Words

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The other day, I learned about the Up-Goer Five Editor - a text editor that challenges you to explain something using only the 1000 most-used English words.

It got me thinking about what might benefit from a plain English explanation.

Back in 2019, I submitted a masters thesis about Attribute Based Encryption (ABE). I was excited by what I learned. I wrote carefully, trying to capture the intuition I felt for the potential of ABE. But the write up was not well received by my professors. On reflection, I wrote it in corporate drivel style - very abstract and hard to read!

Engineers and technologists might appreciate a plain English explanation. If not for their own understanding, but to share the ideas with non-tech people. Enterprises might benefit from ABE.

So I decided to explain ABE only the 1000 most used English words. Its a lot harder than it sounds, but its also a lot of fun! Because of that, I improved my writing. The exercise also inspired me to get my new blog from 0 to 1!

With that simple constraint, you can really improve your writing and your understanding of the topic. If you’re a technologist, try it yourself. Technology is an absolute goldmine of topics!