Basic English and C.K. Ogden, born 1889 June 1st

Ogden, Charles Kay (1889–1957), psychologist, was born on 1 June 1889 in Fleetwood, Lancashire.  He simplified a system of the English language intended as a uniform, consistent means of international communication.

 Described as a sage but also an eccentric and outsider, he took part in many undertakings related to literature, politics, the arts and philosophy, having a broad impact particularly as an editor, translator, and activist on behalf of a reformed version of the English language. He is classically defined as a linguistic psychologist, and is now mostly remembered as the inventor and propagator of Basic English.


He attempted to draw insights from modern psychological research to bear on the linguistic problem of word meaning. General interest in Basic English did not develop until after 1943, however, when Winston Churchill, with the support of Franklin D. Roosevelt, appointed a committee to study the extension of its use. Ogden’s efforts resulted in conceptions of language learning that are still productive.


“Simple Man, Simple Dream” ~~ Linda Ronstadt

“Keep It Simple” ~~ Keb’ Mo

“Simple As This” ~~ Jake Bugg

“It’s Just That Simple” ~~ Wilco

“A Simple Answer” ~~ Grizzly Bear

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