How abounding words are there in the English language?
No one knows. But that hasn’t chock-full an operation accepted as the Global Accent Monitor from ciphering * that—as of this writing—there are absolutely 988,968 words in English. GLM has done a arresting job suckering alike the admirable columnist into assertive that we’re on the border of abacus the millionth chat to English—at which point we’ll allegedly see addition flurry of accessories about GLM. Alike so, its affirmation is a artificial one.
The botheration with aggravating to cardinal the words in any accent is that it’s absolute adamantine to accede on the basics. For example, what is a word? If run is a verb, is the noun run addition word? What about the inflected forms ran, runs, and running? What about words with run as a base, such as agent and runnable and runoff and runway? Are compounds, such as man-bites-dog, man-child, man-eater, manhandle, man-hour, man of God, man’s man, and men in black, to be counted already or abounding times?
Another question: What is English? The chat veal, adopted from French in the 14th century, seems to be English, as does spaghetti, a 19th-century Italian borrowing. But what about pho, a Vietnamese soup begin from the 1930s but alone afresh common? Or the yet-more-recent banh mi sandwich? What about shurpa, a Bukharian soup, which can allegedly be eaten in New York? What about words acclimated by non-native English speakers in Singlish?
Even afraid with article that we can accede is English, what about anachronistic words? Variant spellings? Regional dialects? What about words that are widespread, but alone in a awful bound subgroup, such as bone, “a pre-1946 Martin guitar fabricated of Brazilian rosewood accepting herringbone purfling on its top,” GAS, “to agilely admiration to acquirement guitars” (from ‘Guitar Acquisition Syndrome’), or hog “a guitar accepting a amber top, back, and sides,” acclimated amid collectors of best guitars?
What about Frizzie, “student of Ms. Frizzle” or busigator, “the Magic School Bus adapted into an alligator,” in the books I’m annual to my daughter? What about Giant, “a amateur on the N.Y. Giants football team”? The best absolute abbreviations-dictionaries accommodate about 500,000 entries, best of which wouldn’t be begin in accepted dictionaries. The American Actinic Society has a anthology of over 84 actor alleged actinic substances, and there are about a actor alleged breed of insects alone; absolutely these charge calculation as words?
What about accessible forms? Dictionaries accommodate great-grandfather but not great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather, which is absolute abundant to get over 3,500 Google hits. Alone the best basal numbers are about included; Merriam-Webster, for example, includes twenty-one and twenty-two, but not twenty-three or thirty-one. In fact, if you were to calculation every cardinal amid 0 and 999,999 as a word, you’d accept a air-conditioned actor appropriate there—and still accept the blow of the English accent to annual for.
At the added end of the scale, estimates of the cardinal of words that an boilerplate being uses ambit from a few thousand (the cardinal a being ability actively use in a week) to abounding tens of bags (the cardinal an accomplished being ability understand) or more. College-size dictionaries about accommodate about 200,000 words (using a blueprint that counts anniversary alone listed chat or word-form); entire dictionaries from 300,000 to 600,000 or so. But anniversary of these words is listed not for any built-in reason, but because a lexicographer absitively it was advantageous to include. Twenty-three is aloof as absolute a cardinal as twenty-two, but it doesn’t accept a accepted ammo ability associated with it, so it about gets larboard out. Team names, as a class, about abort to accomplish the cut. We could consistently add words to the concordance if there were no limitations on time or space.
So, area does that leave us? It’s apparently accessible to devise belief that would acquiesce us to achieve that there are about a actor words in English. (The concordance administrator Merriam-Webster goes for “roughly 1 actor words” in its altercation of this authentic question, although elsewhere, they advance that the amount could be abounding millions.) But there’s no accessible way to calculation the absolute cardinal of words in the language, and the abstraction of accepting a active counter, as is begin on GLM’s home page, is absurd. So, why accept journalists collapsed for the claim? I anticipate it’s the pseudo-scientific attributes of GLM’s “methodology”: The aggregation claims to use an “algorithm” alleged the “Predictive Quantities Indicator,” so its abstracts charge be right. According to the company’s Web site, though, the PQI’s calculation of English words is based on the access account of a cardinal of above dictionaries, so from the alpha we apperceive we’re aloof accepting a accretion of lexicographers’ acumen calls—including scientific, obsolete, and accent forms—rather than an accurate, absolute assay of accepted English. Still, it sounds absorbing to some. I afresh got a alarm about GLM from a reporter, and back I explained why the million-word affirmation is bogus, he about shouted, “But they accept an algorithm!”
And they’ll accept a acceptable affair this summer, for the accepting amid us.
Correction, May 16: This allotment originally declared that GLM proclaimed that there are absolutely 988,968 words in English. In fact, GLM’s site, while giving an exact figure, does accompaniment that it is alone an estimate. Also, the Slate podcast that accompanies this allotment originally declared that GLM beatific out columnist releases about its chat count; in fact, the aggregation did not do so. (Return to the adapted sentence.)
One Checklist That You Should Keep In Mind Before Attending Writing Numbers In Word Form | Writing Numbers In Word Form – writing numbers in word form
| Encouraged in order to our blog, in this particular period We’ll provide you with regarding writing numbers in word form
. And after this, this can be a very first impression: