OGDEN's PANOPTICON "WORD WHEEL"
Last updated April 30, 2004 add word wheel project
The term Panoptic means "at a glance." Ogden used a technique of putting information for multiple concepts on radials which aided him in the selection of the words for Basic English. Once accustomed to the radial approach, he came up the a similar concept for aiding the learner in constructing sentences in Basic English.
The Panopticon - Word Wheel
Ogden released his description of the Panopticon device at the same time that he
announced Basic English to the world as an Editorial "Universal Langauge" in his academic journal, Psyche, January 1929.
Examples can be found in the Appendix to The System of Basic English about the "Word Wheel" sentence builder. Mention can also be found in
International Second Language. "The mechanism of normal word-order is explained by a special educational device (a sentence-builder, the Panopticon), illustrating the essential parts of speech and their relations to one another by means of concentric circles on which the words are printed. "
[ pic ]
A mention of problems is found in Basic English and Grammatical Reform under Syntax.
Modern programming should be able to accomplish more than Ogden
was ever able to achieve with his cardboard word wheels. Instead of seven rotatable wheels, we can picture a series of drop down menus. Where special considerations
make the automation non-idiomatic, a programmatic discussion can give further instructions.
Further, it is not too much of a stretch to come up with a pictorial sentence
builder, wherein icons can be selected for nouns, operators, qualifiers, etc. and a simple sentence created by the program.
Volunteers can submit comments and samples of progress through the Basic English Institute.
Panopticon, Word Wheel, sentence builder
Version.03 is now available, by John Derry. NEW
Ogden's idea of a Panopticon,
word wheel, is to let the brand-new Basic learner see a logical way to put his thoughts into English sentences.
"The functionality is entirely contained in one file, oww.html. Hence you can use your browser's Page Save to save a local copy, then it works just the same for offline viewing ; just click
with your brower. -- JohnD"
Is it possible to play with a given sentence changing individual words without redoing the whole sentence?
Yes, very easily. Suppose you have brought the initial page up, and made some choices. Maybe you have clicked on the BuildSentence button, or maybe not. It is possible to back at any time and re-select from the same pull down menus. It is just a matter of (first) making sure the browser window, with Panopticon showing, is selected , and (second) selecting with the mouse the small arrow, or diamond, which then pulls down the choices. Select another from the list, then the list collapses. Your new choice should remain in the box.
At any time (except when a pull down menu is actually down) you can click on the BuildSentence button. It will open a display window (if not already present, if present it will reuse this window) and display your sentence based on the choices you have made.
After you have built a sentence, you might want to change a selection or two. This is where many people might have a problem. What has happened is the new window, appearing so your sentence can be displayed, becomes the 'active' window. It is the window selected to be acted on. You can tell this because the title bar is brighter. The title bar is the very top of the window, in some kind of blue if you use IE.
** in order to return to the Panopticon window to reselect from a list, make that window active by clicking on it's title bar** It should be partially behind the sentence display window but part of the title bar is visible so click on that. When you do, you select that window so that it both recieves the brighter title bar and comes to the surface (becomes top window). Now you can work with it again. Click one change, then click BuildSentence, and again the same thing happens: the sentence display window becomes active and it is moved to the top, which is good because you need to read the sentence.
Another nice thing is your new sentence is displayed directly underneath
your first. And so on. So you can see the difference. Also, if you're constructing sentences joined with a conjuction, you can read it together after completion. When creating sentences joined with a conjuction, the Reset button on the form will clear all your earlier entries (not useful when changing just a word or two).
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or to : Psyche 35.
About this Page: Panopticon.html -- An aid to creating Basic English sentences.