1. First off, the Oxford English Corpus currently contains over 2 billion words.
OH MY GOD SO MANY.
2. The average person, though, is likely to know only about 50,000 of them.
3. That might be because the ten most common lemmas (base forms of a word) in English make up 25% of all words used.
Those lemmas are the, be, to, of, and, a, in, that, have, and I. Seriously, just try to write a paragraph that doesn’t contain any form of those words.
4. Words have lifespans that can range from fewer than 1,000 years up to 20,000 years.
A word like “throw” is expected to have a lifespan of about 1,000 years, while words like “I” and “who” are likely to reach the 20,000 year mark.
5. It is estimated that a new word is created every 98 minutes.
So maybe “plobnrg” will be an actual word by the time you’ve finished reading this.
6. “You” is the 18th most common word in English, while “me” only clocks in at number 50.
I guess English speakers are just really selfless people. Or something.
7. There are over 50 countries around the world that use English as an official language, including Ghana, Pakistan, and the Philippines.
That’s around 1/4 of all countries in the world.
Miramax Films / Via rebloggy.com
9. The longest word in English with all its letters in alphabetical order is “aegilops.”
“Aegilops” is a genus of plants in the grass family Poaceae. The more you know.
10. According to researchers at Reading University, the oldest known word in English is “who,” dating back more than 20,000 years.
Followed by “two,” “three,” and “I.”
BBC / Via giphy.com