Feeds

English vocab poised to hit 1m words

Dictionary swelling by one neologism every 98 minutes

Intelligent flash storage arrays

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.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Holy vintage vehicles! Earliest known official Batmobile goes on sale
Riddle me this: are you prepared to pay US$180k?
Criticism of Uber's journo-Data Analytics plan is an Attack on DIGITAL FREEDOM
First they came for Emil – and I'm damn well SPEAKING OUT
'Open source just means big companies can steal your code.' O RLY?
Plus: Flame of the Week returns, for one night only!
'It is comforting to know where your data centres are.' UK.GOV does NOT
Plus: Anons are 'wannabes', KKK says, before being pwned
NEWSFLASH: It's time to ditch dullard Facebook chums
Everything hot in tech, courtesy of avian anchor Regina Eggbert
Hey, you, PHONE-FACE! Kickstarter in-car mobe mount will EMBED your phone into your MUG
Stick it on the steering wheel and wait for the airbag to fire
Bible THUMP: Good Book beats Darwin to most influential tome title
Folio Society crowns fittest of surviving volumes
U wot? Silicon Roundabout set to become Silicon U-BEND
Crap-spouting London upstarts to get permanent road closure
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
10 threats to successful enterprise endpoint backup
10 threats to a successful backup including issues with BYOD, slow backups and ineffective security.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.