User:Macdonald-ross/Basic for science

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The Basic science wordlists are taken from Ogden C.K. 1942. Basic for science. Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner, London.

There's a problem with all these lists: they consist of single words, whereas many vital science terms are double or triple words.

The general science list of 100 words[change | change source]

This list is of words frequently used in science or are common to two or more sciences. Many of the terms, especially the red-link terms, are in wiktionary; some are in both Simple and wikt.

active, adjacent, absorption, age, alternate (alternative), application, arc, area, arrangement, ash, axis, break, bubble, capacity, case, cell, column, component, compound, continuous, cross, decrease, deficiency, deposit, determining, difference, difficulty, direct, disappearance, discharge, disturbance, elimination, environment, equation, evaporation, exact, experiment, explanation, focus, friction, fusion, generation, groove, guard, hinge, impurity, individual, interpretation, investigation, joint, latitude, layer, length, link, longitude, mean, melt, mixture, nucleus, origin, path, pressure, projection, proof, reference, relative, reproduction, resistance, rigidity, rock, rot, rotation, screen, seal, section, sensitivity, shadow, shear, shell, similarity, solution, spark, specialization (specialisation), specimen, stimulus, strain, strength, stress, substitution, successive, supply, surface, swelling, thickness, thrust, tide, transmission, transparent, tube, valve.

The Basic Dictionary of Science adds these : per, used in giving rates ; non-, where un- would seem strange ; and -th, for naming order.

Basic science lists[change | change source]

Physics and chemistry : (50)[change | change source]

Critique: Physics and chemistry deserve separate lists. For physics, most atomic physics terms are lacking, and also terms for astronomy. Chemistry is particularly lacking terms in biochemistry and organic chemistry.

Mathematics and mechanics : (50)[change | change source]

Critique: This list is geared to applied mathematics rather than pure mathematics.

Geology : (50)[change | change source]

Critique: Out of date in respect of continental drift, and all that connects with it. The list is heavily based on stratigraphy, yet lacks terms for geological periods.

Biology : (50)[change | change source]

Critique: This list is based on older morphological biology. Modern biology, cell biology, developmental biology, molecular biology, genetics, and microbiology and many topics in palaeontology, ecology and evolution are not covered. Of all Ogden's science lists, this is the most out of date. Notice especially the absence of DNA, gene, evolution...

There's also a peculiarity in the grammar of this list. Instead of preferring nouns as the root words, or infinitive verbs, the list has other forms such as gerunds or participles: 'fertilizing' instead of 'fertilization', and 'domesticating' instead of 'domestication'. This suggests, unfortunately, that he had not paid sufficient attention to the editing of words suggested by others.

International Words in Science[change | change source]

It is only in this list at the end of Ogden's book (p307–313) that we see words which are necessary for articles on the advanced science of his era. The list is given without Basic definitions. These are the biology words from his international science list:

Some comments on this list: Some of the words are general terms needed to teach almost any science, but most are biological terms. They are rather fundamental, and almost any course on biology is going to need many of them.