back to article English vocab poised to hit 1m words

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 …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    This cromulent research embiggens the lexicographers art.

  2. SuperTim

    Well done.

    My finest contrafibularities to all who concerned! I hope it does not cause pericumbobulations amongst the plebs....


  3. philbo

    Is neologitis a word? will be in 98 minutes

    We need a neologotomy

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nice in house research there

    I seem to remember a similar study at the Herald Tribune a few years ago yielded only 7000 words.

  5. Steve

    Reg hacks slacking off

    Surely we now need a new term to describe the phenomena of increasing neologisms.

  6. Evil Auditor Silver badge

    "clocked up 25,000 deployments"

    So, eventually, if you repeat a lie (read: typo) often enough, it will become true.

    Sure, language is a living thing. But I get an uneasy feeling it might get too lively...


  7. Gav

    For the next million

    May I be the first to say; millionastic!

  8. The Dorset Rambler

    hmmm....."25,000 deployments in the media,"

    Right. It is now our solemn duty to use twatdangle as much as possible.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    a million words

    and 950,000 not worth the paper they're written on.

  10. Neil Kay
    Paris Hilton

    Let me be the first

    Let me be the first to offer my deepest contrafibularities at this achievement.

    /Paris, because..well..words fail me.

  11. Mark Broadhurst
    Thumb Down

    State of the dictionary

    While I appreciate langague evolves over time, I would like to think that the dictionary would be refining words rather than letting all this trash in which are based on fads like facebook.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    I was going to post a comment

    but I couldn't put exactly what I was thinking into words

  13. Ad Fundum

    Seems wide open to corruption

    Are we saying then that if I copy and paste reg-isms like "twatdangle" and "fucktard" enough times into forums like this very vehicle, we can get these words added to something official? Woop woop, let's have some of that!

    twatdangle * fucktard * twatdangle * fucktard * twatdangle * fucktard * twatdangle * fucktard * twatdangle * fucktard * twatdangle * fucktard * twatdangle * fucktard * twatdangle * fucktard * twatdangle * fucktard * twatdangle * fucktard * twatdangle * fucktard * twatdangle * fucktard * twatdangle * fucktard * and so on

  14. Cameron Colley

    And us commentards?

    How extensive is the vocabulary of the entire comment-posting readership?

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How many?

    "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."

    And the average vocabulary of those who come up with these neologisms? Probably about 14....

  16. Charles Smith


    A veritable minefield of useless information

  17. Frank

    Word Count

    I would refer you to Amazon's review (and other reviews) of a book published May 1st 2008 with the title 'A Million Words and Counting', author credited as: "Paul J.J. Payack is a Harvard-educated word maven who is president of the Global Language Monitor and " (He was the President? You said he's their chief analyst. Was he demoted?)

    According to the book review, "In 2007, the English language passed the million-word mark."

    So, predicted to happen in 2006, reported as having happened in 2007, predicted to happen again in 2008. Why should this be? A clue might be found in the review's author notes:

    "The two sites he operates receive 30 million page views a month and are used as resources by major universities and other institutions worldwide. A well-known media commentator and expert on culture and language, Payack has appeared on the BBC, CNN, National Public Radio, ABC, CBS, and NBC."

    Hmmmm. Got to keep those page hits coming and those tv and radio appearances going I suppose.

  18. Mountford D

    Thanks to its German roots

    English has the capability of concatenating existing words to form new ones (as in Donau­dampfschiffahrts­gesellschafts­kapitän - Captain of the Danube steam ship company). Most of these however are transient and it does call into question whether some of these words should be included officially in the count until they have been in widespread use for at least 20 or more years.

  19. David Cox

    "Noob" or "Newb"?

    I always thought that "Noobs" were a sub-species of Newbie who were ill-informed and un-skilled, and willfully resistant to advice? I was told to 'help a newb, ignore a noob'.

    Though, I could easily be wrong . . . .

  20. Richard



    Mine's the one with the short poem in.

  21. James










































    I know I have heard retrobuzzfuckarianosity somewhere before. Thomas Pynchon?

  22. DutchOven
    Paris Hilton

    I'd just like to say

    ...have they not got anything better to do with their time?

    What a bunch of arsecandles.

    It's doubly as bad when (after reading a bit more) I realised that the 1,000,000 mark was passed in 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.

    So not only are they doing something which is of extremely limited usefulness, they're also incredibly inept at counting...

    I was always under the impression that by using one of those new-fangled computer thingys, they could: count the words, make sure there were no duplicates, have a definitive answer and still be home in time for tea. I was obviously wrong (or grossly underestimating user stupidity)

    Paris because even she can count (and her life isn't being wasted quite as pointlessly)

  23. Anonymous Coward

    Why so many neologisms...

    ... when you can say so much with a single word, that can be the single word to comprise a full meaningful sentence! Remember this pearl below? (NSFW)

    Fuck the fucking fuckers...

    The movie Casino couldn´t be done without this little priceless gem. The F word has more usages and meanings than one could imagine, negating the need for one-so-many neologisms. If the Herald Tribune can cope with only 7k words, some people could survive with only one!

  24. Pete "oranges" B.


    I have no objection to new words to describe new things, or better decribe old things, but I can't stand it when a new composite word is formed from old composite word(s) by means of splitting them and thus obscuring the the meaning of the new word to anyone who wasn't familiar with the exact origin of the original composites.

    See greenwashing from the article:

    The non-literal meaning of whitewashing is derived directly from its literal meaning, greenwashing takes its literal meaning from the non-literal meaning of whitewashing, which is now obscured due to "white" having been seperated from "washing", which makes it just "whashing" not the latter half of whitewashing.

  25. Dave Morris
    Thumb Up

    The Register...

    is in rare form today... this and the giant spider article are very beautiful, not to mention the Stob article about C++... such a relief from the stress of everyday living. Keep it up.

  26. Dave Bell

    O tempura! O mores!

    I was going to write a sonnet on the subject, but the margins of this browser window keep filling with mis-spelled adverts for a well-known sexual performance enhancement product.

  27. Andrew Rodland

    An outright lie.

    You know why it's "taken so long"? Because the numbers are a complete fabrication. The guy has a book to sell. The publication of the book was delayed. Therefore, so was the "millionth word". There's really no truth to be found anywhere in the whole business.

  28. RW
    Paris Hilton

    A little story that may amuse the easily amused

    Years ago I was contemplating the words catalysis, analysis, electrolysis, dialysis, catabolism, anabolism, etc and wondered what happened if you took a list of classiform prefixes and another list of classiform suffixes, and joined the twain together.

    Even in dear deadly Cobol, the only language for which I had ready access to a compiler, setting this up was no great problem. It took a little tinkering and the installation of some rules governing the joining of trailing vowel prefixes to leading vowel suffixes, but no matter.

    The result was a truly amazing list of possible words. Many of them, of course, were well known and could be found in dictionaries. But a few were neo-neo, as well as highly gravity removing (a tip of the hat to Ernest Bramah). The prize went to "electrosexual."

    Ah, such were the halcyon days of youth (recte early middle age) that I did not recognize the thoroughgoing truth of the adage "truth is stranger than fiction." Only in recent years have I become aware of the availability of a wide selection of gadgetry specifically intended to stir up ones privities by the application of mild electrical stimuli.

    Did I mention that truth is always stranger than fiction?

    Now where's that tube of electrolytic gel?

    Paris, because I'm sure certain experiences with the dear girl are truly electrifying in their own way.

  29. Booty003


    Rogers Profanisaurus is the only book of words any of us need......

  30. Cortland Richmond

    Short words, old words

    Who workest worse with pen and verse? Who harketh least to man or beast? Nay! Give me grandpa's speech and true; I'll leave the Latin all for you!

  31. Mark Lawson


    Makes a nice change from the swinepocalypse. :)

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up


    Where can I buy my copy?

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    ...are often coined by people who are linguistically challeneged, merely because they do not have an expansive enough vocabulary to realise that they are inadvertantly inventing synonyms for words which have a prior existance.

  34. Anonymous Coward


    ***...are often coined by people who are linguistically challeneged, merely because they do not have an expansive enough vocabulary to realise that they are inadvertantly inventing synonyms for words which have a prior existance. ***

    My thoughts exactly. What perhaps was not sufficiently highlighted in the article. Put in another way: Someones use of jargong does not determine the size of their vocabulary.

  35. Fred Ludd
    Thumb Down


    Doesn't anyone here read Language Log?

    January 3, 2009: The "million word" hoax rolls along

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