| Definition -
The controlled language Basic English is a subset of English invented by Charles Kay Ogden (and I. A. Richards). It consists of 850 words and a simplified grammar. The goal was to create a version of English that would be easy to learn, would improve international communication, and, thereby, increase the possibility of peace on earth.
1. A complete description of it can be found in Ogden's book Basic English: A General Introduction with Rules and Grammar (1930).
2. A list of the 850 words can be found here.
3. A summary of its grammar can be found here.
Etymology - The Basic in Basic English is an acronym for British, American, Scientific, International, and Commercial.
Oxford English Dictionary - The term's first citation is from 1929:
"It is the continuous approximation of East and West, as a result of the analytic character of Chinese and English … which makes this particular [Panoptic] form of English basic for the whole world. Many special captions or trade-marks for the system have been suggested, but Basic = British American Scientific International Commercial (English) — is for the time being as good as any."
(C. K. Ogden in Psyche IX. iii. 4)