May 19, 2009

Geoff Nunberg Scoffs at "Millionth Word" Claim

From CBS News

Millionth English Word Or Just "Nonsense?"

Texas Marketer Predicts Date, Time Of Millionth English Entry, But Linguists Scoff At Claim

(CBS)  Set your clocks. The English language is weeks away from expanding its lexicon to one million words.

So says Paul Payack, chief of the Website Global Language Monitor and author of A Million Words And Counting. The self-style language expert from Texas predicts the millionth entry will come on June 10, at 10:22 a.m., according to a report in the Houston Chronicle Monday.

According to Payack, a new English word is created every 98 minutes and those new entries are fed into his site where they are checked for acceptance. (Words must be published 25,000 times before being candidates.)...

“I think it’s pure fraud,” said Geoffrey Nunberg, a University of California, Berkeley linguistics professor. “It’s not bad science. It’s nonsense.”



Last updated:

October 4, 2016