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Word-based science was a science that used words, instead of the usual numbers, as was more common in most species. It was employed by the Carrionites by 1599. It closely resembled witchcraft, and was probably the inspiration for certain motifs of the legend. It was of a complex nature, seemingly requiring certain words, certain rhythm, and a certain environment. (TV: The Shakespeare Code) According to the Sixth Doctor, it was related to the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, an idea that the structure of a language influenced its speakers' world view. (AUDIO: The Carrionite Curse)