Words in English = 1 million

Tom Zurinskas truespel at HOTMAIL.COM
Mon Mar 31 03:02:45 UTC 2008

from  http://www.languagemonitor.com/wst_page7.html

The Number of Words in the English Language

By Paul JJ Payack, President & The WordMan, Global Language Monitor

Methodology:  The Global Language Monitor has attempted to pinpoint the precise number of words in the English Language at a given point in time. To do so, it first established a base number of words in the language using the generally accepted unabridged dictionaries (the O.E.D., Merriam-Webster's*, Macquarie's, etc.), that contain the historic 'core' of the English language: every word found in the works of Shakespeare, the King James Bible, Chaucer, and the other 'classics'.

GLM then created a proprietary algorithm, the Predictive Quantities Indicator (PQI) that attempts to measure  the language as currently found in print (including technical and scientific journals), the electronic media (transcripts from radio and television), on the Internet and, increasingly, in web logs (blogs).

The Global Language Monitor's proprietary algorithm, the Predictive Quantities Indicator tracks the frequency of words and phrases in the global print and electronic media, on the Internet, throughout the Blogosphere, as well as accessing proprietary databases (Factiva, Lexis-Nexis, etc.).  For more information on the PQI, go here.

GLM then assigned a number to the rate of creation of new words and the adoption and absorption of foreign vocabulary into the language. The result, though an estimate, has been found to be quite useful as a starting point of the discussion for lay persons, students, and scholars the world over.

This all being said, I now unequivocally state that as of 1:16 pm (Pacific) on the 22nd day of September (the autumnal equinox) in the year 2007 AD (or CE, whatever your preference), there were approximately 995,112 words in the English Language, plus or minus a handful.

Choose well among them.

How well do you know your celebrity gossip?

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

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