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Monday, June 15, 2009

How many English words are there?

If you answered one million, you are correct – according to at least one source.

The Global Language Monitor, a Web site that uses a mathematical formula to estimate word creation, last week estimated that “Web 2.0” became the millionth English word. The site also indicates that the English language accumulates 14 new words daily.

Some linguists, as well as this writer by trade, think that counting words is futile. Personally, I question whether “Web 2.0” should be added to the dictionary.

CNN talked to several experts on the subject, who raised points that even non-linguists will find interesting. And, for more on the subject The (London) Times online also ran an article over the weekend and posted the entertaining related column.