(WYTV) – Most paperback dictionaries contain about 50,000 words, and the average home dictionary has about 100,000 words.
The biggest dictionary in America, Webster’s Third International, contains more than 40,000 words.
The largest dictionary in the world is the Oxford English Dictionary.
It comes in a handy 12 volumes and contains more that 415,000 words, not only their meaning but also the history of each word.
But those 415,000 words in Oxford are not the total number of words in English.
The Oxford English Dictionary took 44 years to complete.
Linguists say our language has more than 800,000 words, including all technical terms. There’s no book big enough to contain all those words.
And what does the word unabridged mean in a dictionary’s title?
It doesn’t mean that the book has all the words in the lanuge.
It just means that the dictionary contains all the words that were in an earlier edition of that book, plus some new ones.
In 2010, a school district in southern California, Oak Meadows, temporarily removed all copies of the Merriam Webster 10th Collegiate Edition from elementary school classrooms.
One parent complained that the dictionary was a bit too explicit when it came to sex, but a committee of teachers and parents looked through it and said no, it’s fine, and the copies went back to the classroom.