ASD Simplified Technical English (formerly AECMA Simplified English) is a writing standard for aerospace maintenance documentation. The standard is defined in Specification ASD-STE100. This type of writing standard is also known as a controlled language because it restricts grammar, style and vocabulary to a subset of the English language. The main characteristics of the Simplified Technical English standard are:
The objective of Simplified Technical English is clear, unambiguous writing. Developed primarily for non-native English speakers, it is also known to improve the readability of maintenance text for native speakers. ASD Simplified Technical English does not attempt to define English grammar or prescribe correct English. It does attempt to limit the range of English, and many of its rules are recommendations found in technical writing textbooks. For example, SE requires writers to:
While ASD Simplified Technical English is designed for use in aerospace maintenance documentation, controlled languages can be created for other writing domains. Companies in several industries -- manufacturing, mining, oil exploration and software development, for example -- have modified ASD Simplified Technical English or produced their own controlled-language writing standards. The Boeing Simplified English Checker can be modified to support more general technical writing.
The Boeing Simplified English Checker has the following options and features:
The Boeing Simplified English Checker has been in use since 1990. It uses a powerful syntactic parser with a robust grammar of over 400 English-syntax rules. Checker reports are based on full structural parses of English sentences. No other Simplified English checker is as complete or accurate in support of Simplified English requirements.
The Boeing Simplified English Checker analyzes text for compliance with mechanical aspects of the standard. Some of the more important requirements of ASD Simplified Technical English that the checker detects are listed below:
The Boeing Checker also catches some typological, grammatical, and stylistic errors that are not explicitly addressed in the STE standard. Among other things, it detects subject-verb agreement errors, double word errors, misspelled words and punctuation problems.
Of course, no controlled-language checker can verify all the requirements of the specification. Some are based on human understanding that current computing technology cannot duplicate. Yet even in these areas the Boeing Simplified English Checker provides assistance. For example, although it is very difficult to detect approved and unapproved word senses, the Simplified English Checker does this in limited fashion.For more information on BSEC, please visit visit http://www.boeing.com/phantom/sechecker.
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