Friday, 26 June 2009

How many words do you know?

The average oral vocabulary that an average 18 year old has access to and uses on a day to day basis, is about 20,000 words. They will have a much larger latent vocabulary that they understand but do not use.

The average university graduate has a working vocabulary of 50,000.

The average academic/ specialist has one of 100,000.

By the end of school the average person has read 600,000 paragraphs.

You are explicitly taught 300-400 new words a year at school, most of which you will already know.

Just a few interesting facts, courtesy of Tom Landauer, who is an American academic, and a pioneer of Latent Semantic Analysis, a technique which allows a computer to learn to read what you write, and work out if it's grammatical and sensible. Scary huh?

1 comment:

Nikki said...

Does that include words that you invent? (I'm thinking of some of my poetry assignment here!)