Friday, August 19, 2016
How many words do you know?
But, now, in a paper in Frontiers in Psychology, researchers from Ghent University in Belgium used social media among other things to estimate that the average 20-year-old native speaker knows 42,00 dictionary words.
They devised a test that went viral on Dutch TV and 300,000 people took it.
Then they did the same for English and Spanish.
The English test has been taken by a million people to date.
They made up their own list of words--and saw how many people recognized them. The test shows each word and asks if it's a word or not.
As we get older, according to data also collected, we learn a new word every two days. (Not sure I do...)
They are also researching 200,000 people who speak English as a second language. This could have implications for teaching languages.
They are also expanding the English list to 75,000 words.
I don't usually bring politics into this blog, but I was joking the other day that Trump had to repeat so much because he didn't know very many words.
I wonder if his invention, "bigly," was on the list of non-words.
In all honesty I don't think toughie is a word, either (see above). I probably make up a new word every two days, not learn one.