Tuesday, 5 July 2011
Prove That You're Better Than Shakespeare
Posted by M.H. Forsyth
Any reader of Inky Fool will enjoy this. It's a site that estimates the size of your vocabulary.
You start off with some reasonably simple words, and then move onto a much more logopandociec test. Indeed, it tested me with several words that I've written about on Inky Fool, including fuddle, tatterdemalion, funambulist, hypnopomic and pule. So you, dear reader, should be at an advantage.
There's a myth that Shakespeare had a much larger vocabulary than anybody else in the whole history of English. In fact, his vocabulary was about 20,000 words. This would put him in the bottom 10% of English speakers today. That's largely because the English language in Will's time only contained about 150,000 different words, whereas the current OED has about 600,000.
Still, that means that if you take the test and make it out of the bottom 10% of the population you can brag about having a larger vocabulary than Shakespeare.
Go and try it.
P.S. Because somebody is bound to ask, they estimated my vocabulary at 41,800; but then again I am meant to be good at this sort of thing (and have no other talents).