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she blinded me with science

Female Scientists Describe Their Jobs Using Only the 10,000 Most Common English Words

A little while ago there was an XKCD picture that explained the Up-Goer Five, “the only flying space car that’s taken anyone to another world,” using only the ten hundred most used words in the very large group of words that I’m using right now. The Up-Goer Five is not easy to explain, so this was pretty funny, but also pretty interesting. Now on Tumblr, Theo Sanderson, Anne Jefferson, and Chris Rowan have a world wide computer place where men and women like the men and women who made the Up-Goer Five can explain how their jobs work, using only those same ten hundred words. They even made a world wide computer place that shows you what words to pick!

We think women who do things like making Up-Goer Fives are very cool, so we want to show you some of the things they do here on our world wide computer place! There are lots more at Sanderson, Jefferson, and Rowan’s world wide computer place. And in case you haven’t guessed already, these words were also written using their word-picking computer place.

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  • Nicole Resweber

    Oh my goodness, I’m famous! Thanks, y’all! :)

  • Anonymous

    That XKCD comic inspired a puzzle at this year’s MIT Mystery Hunt:

  • Anonymous

    This is a fantastic site, so cool! The part that strikes me most, actually, is how impressive every job sounds with very simple words–and also how I’d love to work in so many of these fields. Growing up, ‘science’ seemed inherently coupled with math (which I was just ‘fine’ at). Even though I did well in my science classes, I just had no idea what someone would do with those skills other than becoming a doctor or some kind of physicist. I wonder if others felt the same way?

  • Heidi Mason

    … wouldn’t ten hundred be 1,000? 10,000 is one hundred hundred…

  • francis

    Someone needs to explain the difference between ‘ten hundred’ (1,000) and ‘ten thousand’ (10,000) to the headline writer…