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Hibernate's avatar

How many words do you use ?

Asked by Hibernate (9019 points ) August 3rd, 2011

Inspired from here

I find that test somewhat far from the truth. I say this because the test had a particular thing factor that can make it less accurate. You had to pick only the words you knew the by definition. Some definitions are not easy to be given as in some dictionary definitions are still not clear. Then there are those words that you know how to explain with synonyms, but this wasn’t given as an option to pick the words.

It also never gave an option for people to pick the age variable. Someone on in his early twenties won’t know as many as someone in his mid fifties. Someone over sixty won’t remember as many as someone from his mid thirty.

I had a bit above 14k according to that test while I picked only the words I knew how to explain. I don’t find number small or too big but I’m sure I’d understand anyone no matter what words they’d use.

Do you use many words daily? Do you use only words that you know how to explain or you just use them because you know they have synonyms you know how to explain? How varied are the intellectual levels of the people you interact with on a regular basis?

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15 Answers

Cruiser's avatar

I use a lot of words every day as most of my job is technical sales and have learned to use as few as possible to convey the message or get my point across. Every once in a while if I am in a mood, I will whip out a big word or two I know they probably don’t know like Stoichiometry, Mercaptan or Biff.

Love_Story's avatar

Lets just say I talk a lot . So I use a lot of words . ((:

Blackberry's avatar

Due to our anti-intellectual society, I usually refrain from using any word with more than 2 syllables lol. Just kidding, but I believe in effective communication. I have a pet peeve with vague answers and when I’m in conversation, I usually add more detail than people would like to hear, although it also depends on who I’m talking to, because I know some people don’t care, and some are actually interested if I’m explaining my trip to a foreign country for example.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

I notice that you use plain, simple language, short words and brief sentences. That is the way to write English—it is the modern way and the best way. Stick to it; don’t let fluff and flowers and verbosity creep in. When you catch an adjective, kill it. No, I don’t mean utterly, but kill most of them—then the rest will be valuable. They weaken when they are close together. They give strength when they are wide apart. An adjective habit, or a wordy, diffuse, flowery habit, once fastened upon a person, is as hard to get rid of as any other vice.
– Mark Twain in a letter to D. W. Bowser, 3/20/1880

;) I prefer the KISS method too

Coloma's avatar

I have a book called “Write tight”, so, that’s kinda a dead give away that I lean towards verbosity. lol

I’m a language lover and a talkative, witty, humorous type, sometimes I need to reel myself in and consolidate. haha

laineybug's avatar

I use a lot of words in one day, I talk a lot, but my vocabulary level is about a grade above the one I’m in. People usually understand what I’m talking about, but if they don’t I like to at least have a synonym to help them understand.

downtide's avatar

I’m sure I personally use far fewer words than I actually know. I read a lot of old books and if I used words like those, people would think me quite mad.

Kayak8's avatar

By indicating which year you were born, it DOES, in fact, include an age variable. And after you finish the test, the chart here indicates that native speakers do NOT start losing it in their 60s as you have indicated in the details of your question. The accompanying text explains that at about 50 your increased knowledge of new words slows down, but you don’t lose the ones you already know and use.

woodcutter's avatar

I try to get things across with as few of them as possible. The rest you can fill in when you watch my face, so pay attention or I’ll lose ya.

chewhorse's avatar

Short’n sweet.. I thrive on combining words, dont’cha know (true southerner).

woodcutter's avatar

@chewhorse Words like “jeat” Which means “Did you eat?” 66% fewer words right there.

chewhorse's avatar

Good’n wooodcutter!!.. Aight..

Symbeline's avatar

That test is also quite tricky, as it seems to include a lot of words one is more likely to recognize if they speak French or Spanish.
Anyways, I’m a big fan of slang and swearing, nothing too fancy for me. But I do like big complicated words in order to save time and make things shorter. I was gonna use the word encompass to try and explain it, haha.

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