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How large do you think your vocabulary is?

1.  1000-2000 words
2.  2000-4000 words
c.  4000-8000 words.
d.  >8000 words
5.  <1000 words
6. What does vocabulary mean?

Posted - January 12


  • 6612
    I'm about up there with Big D. However many words he knows. I guess that makes the both of us at "d". This post was edited by Zack at January 12, 2021 5:29 PM MST
      January 12, 2021 4:51 PM MST

  • 7009
    7. 2x4 (I get "bored" easily)
      January 12, 2021 5:40 PM MST

  • 9469
    2. 2000 - 4000 maybe.
      January 12, 2021 7:26 PM MST

  • 13934
    I have no idea.  I'll aver that my vocabulary is greater than average. 
      January 12, 2021 11:23 PM MST

  • 4685
    vocabulary - noun

    1. the body of words used in a particular language.

    2. a range of artistic or stylistic forms, techniques, or movements.

    ~ ~ ~

    In general, there's a massive gap between the number of words a person knows, and the the number they most frequently use on a daily basis.

    ~ ~ ~

    I believe I may have a larger than average vocabulary because it's not unusual for someone to ask me the meaning of a word I use.
    However, since I've been studying Creative Writing I've been gradually simplifying my language. 
    It's ironic that the best writing is easy to read. That means not using more than one unusual word per 3,000-5,000 words in a chapter.
    There are a few other basic rules: vary the sentence structure and length; use the fewest words possible to express what needs to be said; avoid sentences longer than 33 words (most of the time); show, don't tell; and use the active voice unless the passive is necessary for poetic enhancement of the meaning.
    The result, in my view, is that this will gradually lead to a reduction of vocabulary for most people except in specialist applications.

    It worries me. A large vocabulary lets us express ourselves with nuance and exactitude.

    I'm also aware that our language could be much richer. We could have more precise words for colour, scents, and most aspects of sensory awareness.

    How do I tell my belovéd the exact shade of a rose I'd like to plant? If I say it's butter yellow with a hint of sunset round the edges, he'll come home with pale apricot.

    Viridian is a subtle but precise form of green, like the top side of eucalyptus leaves when seen in the shade. How I'd love to be able to name it in a poem! What opportunities for rhythm and word play it would provide! But alas, most listeners would only do a double-take, lose focus and thus miss the meaning.

    ~ ~ ~


    Most adult native test-takers range from 20,000–35,000 words.
    Average native test-takers of age 8 already know 10,000 words.
    Average native test-takers of age 4 already know 5,000 words.
    Adult native test-takers learn almost 1 new word a day until middle age.

    ~ ~ ~


    Armed with a new list of words and using the power of social media, a new study published in Frontiers in Psychology, has found that by the age of twenty, a native English speaking American knows 42 thousand dictionary words. [2016]

    ~ ~ ~

    Academics have counted more than 20,000 words in William Shakespeare's plays and poems. This is not counting the over 1,700 words he may have coined because they are seen for the first time in his writings.

    ~ ~ ~

    However, the methodology of how these words are counted or estimated has to be called into question.
    Does one count the variations on a verb? Does one count the different uses of one word used as a noun, adjective, verb or adverb?

    If the Bard had so many fewer words, have we been over estimating?

    ~ ~ ~

    "Many researchers have tried to assess the number of words adults know. A general conclusion which emerges from such studies is that vocabularies of English monolingual adults are very large with considerable variation. This variation is important given that the vocabulary size of schoolchildren in the early years of school is thought to materially affect subsequent educational attainment. The data is difficult to interpret, however, because of the different methodologies which researchers use. The study in this paper uses the frequency-based vocabulary size test from Goulden et al (1990) and investigates the vocabulary knowledge of undergraduates in three British universities. The results suggest that monolingual speaker vocabulary sizes may be much smaller than is generally thought with far less variation than is usually reported. An average figure of about 10,000 English word families emerges for entrants to university. This figure suggests that many students must struggle with the comprehension of university level texts." (Milton & Treffers-Daller 2013 p. 1)

    ~ ~ ~

    When I'm reading set texts or researching for coursework, I frequently come across up to twenty new words (especially if it's post-modernist philosophy).
    I keep an Oxford Dictionary beside me all the time.
    And I keep a new word lexicon to remind myself of new words.

    Here's a sampler of a few:

    caesura, sɪˈzjʊərə/ noun

    1.(in Greek and Latin verse) a break between words within a metrical foot.

    (in modern verse) a pause near the middle of a line.

    Origin: mid 16th century: from Latin, from caes- ‘cut, hewn’, from the verb caedere .

    sillage, siːˈjɑːʒ/ noun

     1. the degree to which a perfume's fragrance lingers in the air when worn.

    "neither scent has a very strong sillage"
    from French: French, literally ‘wake, trail’.

    petrichor [pe-trahy-kawr, ‐ker] noun

    1.a distinctive scent, usually described as earthy, pleasant, or sweet, produced by rainfall on very dry ground.

    litotes /lʌɪˈtəʊtiːz/ noun

    1. ironic understatement in which an affirmative is expressed by the negative of its contrary (e.g. I shan't be sorry for I shall be glad ).

     origin: late 16th century: via late Latin from Greek litotēs, from litos ‘plain, meagre’.

    limerence- the state of being infatuated with another person



    This post was edited by inky at January 14, 2021 6:32 AM MST
      January 13, 2021 12:18 AM MST

  • 5411
    It is less every day.  I've been forgetting simple words lately, kind of scares me a little.  
      January 13, 2021 2:05 PM MST

  • 13934
    I just read that some people post COVID have some cognitive and memory issues.  They clear up.  Take a deck of cards and play memory.  My kids and I did this regularly.  It's good brain exercise.  I play a game similar to Wheel of Fortune online each day.  That's my attempt to minimize mental 
      January 13, 2021 7:57 PM MST

  • 39704
    Thrifty? What happened at the end there? You cognitively dropped off the
      January 14, 2021 6:31 AM MST

  • 22930
    didnt count it but pretty large since i know spanish too
      January 18, 2021 2:57 PM MST