The Boeing Simplified English Checker (BSEC) helps technical writers check their documents for compliance with ASD (AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe) Simplified Technical English, a writing standard for aerospace maintenance documentation.
The BSEC Vocabulary Management System allows users to add new technical vocabulary and modify advice contained in its internal dictionary and thesaurus.
The BSEC Vocabulary Profiler gives writers and editors text mining tools such as a word frequency profiler and concordance generator.
The BSEC STE Tutor helps users improve STE writing skills.
Specification ASD-STE100 in HTML format is included in our product. STE training is available for technical writers.
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
A language checker is a software application that helps authors comply with a controlled-language specification. Examples of controlled languages include ASD Simplified Technical English, Attempto Controlled English, Caterpillar Technical English, Global English and the U.S. government's Plain Language specification.
The Boeing Simplified English Checker helps writers comply with ASD Simplified Technical English (STE), developed by the AeroSpace and Defence Industries Association of Europe. ASD controls the Simplified Technical English standard, which is defined in Specification ASD-STE100, ASD Simplified Technical English: A Guide for the Preparation of Aircraft Maintenance Documentation in the International Aerospace Maintenance Language (often called the "STE Specification"). More information about the guide can be found at the ASD STEMG website.
Does the BSEC automatically correct sentences? No. No language checker can guarantee full compliance with STE, because the goal of STE is clarity. Only human writers can judge whether a sentence or paragraph makes good sense. The BSEC is intended for use by writers who have been trained to write in Simplified Technical English. It notifies writers when they used unapproved vocabulary or grammatical constructions, and it supplies them with approved alternative expressions.
Why do you need a language checker? Writing in a controlled-language standard is difficult. It often forces writers to think differently about how they present information. Even the best writers forget which words are approved and what expressions to substitute for unapproved words. A checker supplements the writer's memory, and it promotes a higher level of accuracy and consistency in the workplace. Cost savings to the organization appear in the form of reduced cycle times and less need for revision.
Although ASD Simplified Technical English is designed for use in aerospace maintenance documentation, controlled languages can be created for other technical writing domains. Companies in several industries -- manufacturing, mining, oil exploration, software development -- have modified ASD Simplified Technical English or produced their own controlled-language writing standards.
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.