Feeds

English vocab poised to hit 1m words

Dictionary swelling by one neologism every 98 minutes

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

The English language is poised to reach the 1m word mark at 10.22am on 10 June, with "noob", "greenwashing" and "defriend" among the neologisms vying to be the one millionth addition to our burgeoning vocab.

That's according to the Global Language Monitor, which acknowledges a new term once it's clocked up 25,000 deployments in the media, social networking sites, and other hotbeds of linguistic creation - currently contributing a newbie every 98 minutes.

The Global Language Monitor actually predicted our beloved mother lingo would pass the 1m milestone back in 2006, but despite Asian speakers of English as a second language contributing to the most prolific epoch of word creation since the days of Bill Shakespeare, it's taken a tad longer than predicted.

However, the expansion of the English lexicon won't mean much in practice for the average punter. The Global Language Monitor's chief analyst, Paul Payack, explained: "Despite having a million words at our disposal it is unlikely that we will ever use more than just a tiny fraction of them.

"The average persons vocabulary is fewer than 14,000 words out of these million that are available. A person who is linguistically gifted would only use 70,000 words."

Indeed, El Reg's backroom boys this morning ran an vocabulary algorithm on our entire archive, revealing that the average Vulture Central hack is able to conjure up 23,474 distinct words, of which 7.3 per cent involve swearing and, in the case of the Bootnotes department, an additional 13 per cent are sexual euphemisms.

Our Strategy Boutique, meanwhile, managed just 15,034 words*, largely comprised (66 per cent of the total) of terms such as "rebaselining", "coterminosity" and, natch, "whalesong". It has, though, by our reckoning contributed no less than 1,285 totally meaningless neologisms to the English gene pool since beginning its Monday brainstorming power brunches back in 2007. ®

Bootnote

*Between all of 'em, sadly.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

More from The Register

next story
Are you a fat boy? Get to university NOW, you PENNILESS SLACKER
Rotund types paid nearly 20% less than people who didn't eat all the pies
Emma Watson should SHUT UP, all this abuse is HER OWN FAULT
... said an anon coward who we really wish hadn't posted on our website
Japan develops robot CHEERLEADERS which RIDE on BALLS
'Will put smiles on faces worldwide', predicts corporate PR chief
Bruges Booze tubes to pump LOVELY BEER underneath city
Belgian booze pumped from underground
Oz carrier Tiger Air takes terror alerts to new heights
Don't doodle, it might cost you your flight
Amazon: Wish in one hand, Twit in the other – see which one fills first
#AmazonWishList A year's supply of Arran scotch, ta
Let it go, Steve: Ballmer bans iPads from his LA Clippers b-ball team
Can you imagine the scene? 'Hey guys, it's your new owner – WTF is that on your desk?'
Oi, London thief. We KNOW what you're doing - our PRECRIME system warned us
Aye, shipmate, it be just like that Minority Report
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.