Чтобы проверить, насколько целевой словарь соответствует заявленной цели (98-99-процентное покрытие словоупотреблений), проведём небольшой тест.
В данном тексте (как и в любом другом) большая часть слов понятна даже пятикласснику. Это те самые 500-600 самых частых слов, которые покрывают более половины словоупотреблений, плюс интернациональные слова, такие как sandwich. Они не включены в визуальный словарь, но присутствуют в приложениях к расширенному списку. Эти слова остались незакрашенными.
. . . And Then You DieThe most transformational
moment of my life occurred
when I was nineteen years old. My friend Josh had taken me to a party on a lake
just north of Dallas,
Texas. There were condos
on a hill and below the hill was a pool, and below the pool was a cliff overlooking the lake. It was a small cliff, maybe thirty feet
enough to give you a second thought
about jumping, but low enough that with the right combination of alcohol and peer pressure that second thought could easily vanish.
after arriving at the
party, Josh and I sat in the pool
together, drinking beers and talking as young angsty males do. We talked about drinking and bands and girls and all of
the cool stuff Josh had
done that summer since dropping
out of music school. We talked about playing in a band together and moving to New York City—an impossible dream at the time.
We were just kids.
"Is it okay to jump off that?" I
asked after a while, nodding
toward the cliff over the lake.
Josh said, "people do it all the time here."
you going to do it?"
He shrugged. "Maybe. We’ll
see." Later in the
evening, Josh and I got separated.
I had become distracted
by a pretty Asian girl
who liked video games, which to me, as a teenage nerd, was akin
to winning the lottery. She had no interest in me, but she was friendly and happy to let me
talk, so I talked. After a few beers, I gathered enough courage to ask her to go up to the house with me to
get some food. She said sure.
walked up the hill, we bumped into Josh coming
down. I asked him if he wanted food, but he declined. I asked him where I could find him later on. He smiled and said,
"Seek the truth
for yourself, and I will meet you there!"
I nodded and made a serious face. "Okay, I’ll see you there,"
I replied, as if
everyone knew exactly
where the truth was and how to get to it. Josh laughed and walked down the hill toward the cliff.
I laughed and continued up the hill toward the house.
I don’t remember how long I was inside. I just remember that
when the girl and I came out again, everyone was gone and there were sirens.
The pool was empty. People were running
down the hill toward the shoreline below the cliff. There were others
already down by the water. I could make out a couple
guys swimming around. It was dark and
hard to see. The music droned
on, but nobody listened.
Still not putting two-and-two together, I hurried down to the shoreline, gnawing on my sandwich curious as to what everyone
was looking at. Halfway down, the pretty Asian girl said to me, "I think something terrible has happened." When I got to
the bottom of the hill, I asked someone where
Josh was. No one looked at me or acknowledged me. Everyone stared at the water. I asked again, and a girl started crying
uncontrollably. That’s when I put two-and-two together.
It took divers three hours to find Josh’s body at the bottom of the lake. The autopsy would later say that his legs had cramped up due to dehydration from the
alcohol, as well as
to the impact of the
jump from the cliff. It
was dark out when he went in, the water layered on the night, black on black. No one could
see where his screams
for help were coming from. Just the splashes. Just the sounds. His parents later told me that he was a terrible swimmer. I’d had no idea.
It took me twelve hours to let
myself cry. I was in my car, driving
back home to Austin the next morning. I called my dad and told him that I was
still near Dallas and that I was going to miss work. (I’d been working for him that summer.)
He asked, "Why; what happened?
Is everything all right?" And that’s when it all came out: the waterworks. The wails and the screams and the snot. I pulled the car over to the side of the
road and clutched the
phone and cried the way
a little boy cries to his father.
I went into
a deep depression that summer. I thought I’d been depressed before, but this
was a whole new level
so deep that it physically hurt.
People would come by
and try to cheer
me up, and I
would sit there and hear them say all the right things and do all the right
things; and I would tell them thank you and how nice it was of them to come over, and I would fake a smile and lie and say that it was
getting better, but underneath
I just felt nothing.
about Josh for a few months after that. Dreams where he and I would have conversations about life and
death, as well as about
random, pointless things. Up until
that point in my life,
I had been a pretty
typical middle-class stoner kid: lazy, irresponsible,
socially anxious, and deeply insecure. Josh, in many ways,
had been a person I looked
up to. He was older, more confident, more experienced,
and more accepting of
and open to the world around him. In one of my last dreams of Josh, I was
sitting in a Jacuzzi with him (yeah, I know, weird), and I said something like, "I’m really
sorry you died." He laughed.
I don’t remember exactly
what his words were, but he said something like, "Why do you care that I’m dead when
you’re still so afraid
to live?" I woke up
crying. It was sitting on my mom’s couch that summer, staring into the so-called
abyss, seeing the endless
and incomprehensible nothingness where Josh’s
friendship used to be, when I came to the startling realization that if there really is no reason to do anything, then there is also no reason to not do anything; that
in the face of the inevitability
of death, there is no reason
to ever give in
to one’s fear or embarrassment or shame, since it’s all just a bunch of nothing anyway; and that by spending the majority of my short life avoiding what was painful and uncomfortable, I had essentially been avoiding being alive at all.
summer, I gave up
the weed and the
cigarettes and the video games. I gave up my silly
rock star fantasies and dropped
out of music school and signed up for college courses. I started going to the gym and lost a bunch of weight. I made new friends. I
got my first girlfriend. For the first time in my life I actually studied for
classes, gaining me the
startling realization that I could make
good grades if only I
gave a shit. The next summer, I challenged myself to read fifty nonfiction books in fifty days, and then did it. The
following year, I transferred
to an excellent
university on the other side of the country, where I excelled for the first time, both academically
and socially. Josh’s death marks
before/after point I
can identify in my life. Pre-tragedy, I was inhibited, unambitious, forever obsessed and confined by what I imagined
the world might be thinking of me. Post-tragedy, I morphed into a new person: responsible, curious, hardworking. I still
had my insecurities and
my baggage—as we always do—but now I gave a fuck about something more important than my insecurities and my baggage.
And that made all the difference.
Oddly, it was someone
else’s death that gave me permission
to finally live. And perhaps
the worst moment of my life was also the most transformational. Death scares us. And because it scares us, we avoid thinking about it,
talking about it, sometimes even acknowledging it, even when it’s happening to someone close to us.
Yet, in a bizarre, backwards way, death is the
light by which the shadow
of all of life’s meaning
is measured. Without
death, everything would feel inconsequential,
all experience arbitrary, all metrics and values suddenly zero.
Итак, в тексте из тысячи с небольшим (артикли и предлоги не считаем) слов новые слова встретились 10 раз, это менее одного процента. Значения шести из них можно примерно понять из контекста. Два других (angsty, snot) можно проигнорировать без особой потери смысла. Ещё пару раз (stoner-торчок, abyss-бездна) придётся заглянуть в словарь, благо современные средства позволяют делать это одним касанием.
Это довольно лёгкий текст, написанный практически разговорным языком. Похожий язык бывает в кино и видеороликах, статьях и блогах, учебниках и пособиях. В более "серьёзной" художественной или научной литературе процент "красных" слов будет выше, но обычно не более 3-4%.