A million English words, or only 600,000? Either way, it's a language packed with more words than you'll ever need

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Wed Jul 9 19:07:57 UTC 2008

On Wed, Jul 9, 2008 at 2:45 PM, Baker, John <JMB at stradley.com> wrote:
>        While Arnold's concerns are valid, I would argue that it's
> dangerous to ignore bogus claims that are already getting attention
> elsewhere and that mocking may be the most effective strategy.

Oh, there's been plenty of mocking. Here's the last of several
Language Log posts I did on the Payack poppycock:


And there was Jesse Sheidlower on Slate...


And Geoff Nunberg on Fresh Air...


As my LL post indicates, he's been stretching out this million-word
countdown business for a very long time. And now he's pushing it out
further still, all the way till next April. Mockery's all well and
good, but it gets exhausting after a while. I'm afraid there will
always be gullible reporters willing to fall for this stuff.

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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