write as many english words you know

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holy999
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29 Apr 2020, 5:40 am

could you do it?



naturalplastic
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29 Apr 2020, 7:04 am

Listing every word in your native tongue that exists in your own vocabulary?

Even in these days of quarantine and boredom that would be a tedious task because even the most illiterate human has a wordstock in four digits at least.

And you have other issues like defining what constitutes "a word" as distinct from another word. Should 'cat' be considered a different word from 'cats'? For example.

When I was like 13 I got into that very topic, wondering how large peoples vocabularies are, and trying to figure out a feasible way to estimate a person's vocabulary size without actually having to count each word they know.

What I came up with was a kind of game:pick one page of the big fat unabridged dictionary. The tester looks at that page and reads off each word on that page of the dictionary to a test subject. And if the subject claims they know what the word means -and if the testers doubts the veracity of the claim- the tester (me) can just ask the subject (my kid sister, for example)"what does that word mean?", and since the tester has the dictionary definition of the word right in front of them then they can see if the subject is giving a correct definition of the word even if the word hadnt yet been in the tester's own wordstock.

Go through each word on that page of the dictionary. And keep score of how many words on that page the subject knows,and then, multiply that score by the number of pages in the unabridged dictionary.If your kid sister knows 5 words on that page, and the dictionary has 2000 pages then...thats ten thousand. The resulting number would be a rough guesstimate of the test subjects total vocabulary size. Or thats what my 13 year old self reasoned. And actually i probably wasnt far off. The Nielsen Ratings, and the Gallop Poll, are based on similarly tiny sample sizes, but are considered to be "statistically accurate" for some reason known to statisticians.

I did that with each family member. My elementary school sister got the lowest (but good for her age), I got a higher number, mom still higher, and dad had the highest. Even sis got some amount over ten thousand, and Dad got like 56 thousand.

So a conservative wild guess:

An eighth grade drop out probably has a vocabulary of at least around 20 thousand words. So even an unlettered adult has about seventy type written pages worth of wordstock to list. A lot.



Fnord
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29 Apr 2020, 9:25 am

holy999 wrote:
write as many english words you know could you do it?
Yes, but it would be easier to just send you a dictionary.


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Callafiriel
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29 Apr 2020, 9:39 am

"As Many English Words You Know"

There. Did it.



IsabellaLinton
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29 Apr 2020, 9:47 am

Could I do it by memory? Likely not. Could I do it by opening both the OED and Urban Dictionary, and listing every word I knew? Sure. It would take a very long time, though. I hope you wouldn't expect definitions too. My personal estimate would be close to 50,000.



kraftiekortie
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29 Apr 2020, 9:49 am

This is an absurd exercise....



funeralxempire
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29 Apr 2020, 10:03 pm

Fnord wrote:
holy999 wrote:
write as many english words you know could you do it?
Yes, but it would be easier to just send you a dictionary.


But there's words I know that aren't in the dictionary.
And there might still be a few a I don't know that are. Image


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funeralxempire
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29 Apr 2020, 10:05 pm

holy999 wrote:
could you do it?


Can I start with writing all of the rhymes I know?


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naturalplastic
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29 Apr 2020, 10:13 pm

Aardvark

aardwolf

abacus

abnormal

abyss

accident



IsabellaLinton
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29 Apr 2020, 10:50 pm

naturalplastic wrote:
Aardvark

aardwolf

abacus

abnormal

abyss

accident


a
abbey
abdicate
abduct
abject
ablaze
abnormal
academy / ia / ic
accord / ance / ing
accordion
accrue / ment
accuse / atory / ation
ace
acetone
Achilles
acid / ic
acrid
acrimony / ious
act / ive / or / ion
acupuncture
add
addends
addition
addendum
addle
Adirondack
adjudicate / or
adorable
adrenaline
aeolian
aerodynamic
aeronautic
affiliate / ion
affix
affluent / ce
affront
afloat
afresh
after / shock / ward
agape
age / ism
agender
aggregate
aggression / ive
aghast
agnostic
agoraphobia / ic
aid
aim
air/ y
airplane
airshow
alabaster
albeit
alchemy / ist
alcohol / ic / ism
alderman
ale
Algarve
alight
almost
alms / giving
aloe
alone
alpine
already
altar
alter / cation
alto
altruist / m
aluminium
alumni / a / us
am
amber
amble
ambrosia
America / n
amiable
ammunition
amnesia / ic
among / st
amour / ous
amp / lify
amphetamine
amphitheatre
amulet
an
anal / us /lingus
anaphylactic
anathema
ancestor / ry / ral
ancillary
and
anecdote / al
anew
angel / ic
angle
angler
animal
animosity
ankle
ankylosis
annexe
anniversary
annals
annotate / ions
annul / ment
anonymous
ant
antecedent
antechamber
Anthropod
anticlimactic
antipasto
antique / ated /uties
antonym / ous
any / one / thing / time / where


Hkjfskdfjskfjs;kfjs;fjsl :P :P :P :P