A Thing Explainer word checker

Want to try writing using only simple words? Here’s a writing checker you can use: xkcd.com/simplewriter.

To help me write the words in my Up Goer Five picture, I taught my computer to watch my writing and tell me when one of the words I used wasn’t in the top ten hundred. After I put up my Up Goer picture, other people made things to check writing, too (like this one).

When I decided to write Thing Explainer, I went back to the writing checker I had used and made it better. Now, I’m happy to be able to share it with everyone!

To use it, just touch here and start writing. If you use a word that’s not in Thing Explainer’s set of the ten hundred, the word will turn red. (I usually count all forms of a word, like “kick” and “kicked,” together as one word, although there are a few special cases where I don’t.)

Have fun explaining things!

A note on the words: Some words are used more often in certain kinds of writing and talking than in others, which means different ways of counting words will give different answers for which ones we use the most. The set of ten hundred words in Thing Explainer comes from putting together many ways of counting how much people use a word to come up with a single set of ten hundred words that should sound familiar and simple to lots of people. 

Thank you to James Zetlen, who helped make the word checker work on other people’s computers and not just mine.

7 replies on “A Thing Explainer word checker”

  1. Subverting Randall’s editor’s admiral intentions, alternative enjoyment ensues composing complete paragraphs entirely shunning Randall’s thousand commonest dictionary terms. Bombastic prose frequently results.

    Liked by 29 people

  2. re-checking my favorites from the older one he linked to (had to make a few small edits):

    1). If you have a line and draw another line that shows the area under it and then draw a third line that shows how fast the second line changes, the third line is the same as the first line.

    2). Take a field and make a group out of all of the ways you can move the field onto itself where two ways make a new way by doing both one after the other.
    You can look at any smaller group in your group to find a paired smaller field in your field that is moved onto itself by all the things in your smaller group.
    Also, if you take any smaller field of your field there will always be a smaller group of your group that has all the ways you can move that field onto itself.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Is clicking on one of the non-simple words at the bottom supposed to highlight it? Because I’m seeing an interesting bug: clicking on one often highlights two punctuation marks near the word. This also gives me two simultaneous input cursors, letting me type two lines at once! One time I managed to get four at once! Exciting, but probably not intended.
    Environment: Firefox 31.0 (yes, I know) on Windows 7 Pro SP1.

    Like

  4. I’m having tons of problems in Firefox where it won’t highlight words properly. Tried disabling adblock but no luck. Works great in Chrome.

    Like

  5. Four twenties and seven years ago our fathers brought out on this area, a new country, born in free will, and given over to the idea that all men are created the same.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. if you add up all the stuff flowing around a path that is a hole in a surface, you get the same result as if you add up the amount of stuff flowing around each point on the surface. It doesn’t matter whether the surface is like a plate and the path is the edge of the plat or if it is a bag and the path is the opening in the bag.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Corrected!: if you add up all the stuff moving around a path that is a hole in a surface, you get the same answer as if you add up the stuff moving around each point on the surface. It doesn’t matter whether the surface is like a plate and the path is the edge of the plate or if it is a bag and the path is the opening in the bag.

      Liked by 1 person

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