Word countThat is, according to the Global Language Monitor, the amount we have now surpassed for the English language.

The one millionth word was Web 2.0. , which isn’t actually a word, but a phrase containing a noun. Look a little further and you’ll find that this million includes both words and phrases. Which makes financial tsunami more acceptable as their 1,000,001st ‘word’ I suppose.

The former editor-in-chief of the Britannica encyclopaedia is unimpressed with this count, as are the linguists over at Language Log. And as the OED points out, there is no accurate way to count how many words there are in a language.

So, what’s the point of the count? Well, I think the fact it draws attention to the complexity and ever-changing face of the English language is fantastic. It’s prompted many journalists to write articles about the language, and perhaps exposes people to new words. I, for one, would never have known of the existence of the word quendy-trendy (apparently British youth slang) if it weren’t for the Monitor. Thanks guys.