There is no consensus amongst linguists as to exactly what constitutes a word. How do you count words? What counts as a word? Do 'run', 'running', 'ran' count as three words or one? Is 'dotwatcher' a word? What about 'haptualize'?
Philosophers of the world: trouble yourselves no more. The problem is solved.
A word is whatever The Global Language Monitor says it is.
Web 2.0 ? Yup! That's a word. They say. The English language's 1,000,000th word, to boot!
Hype, or erudition? You decide:
Austin, Texas-based, Global Language Monitor (GLM) documents, analyzes(sic)
and tracks trends in language the world over, with a particular
emphasis upon Global English. GLM is based in Austin, Texas.
GLM has been cited hundreds of by the leading print and electronic media the world over.
Payack taught scientific and technological communications and other forms of expository writing at the University of Massachusetts, and has lectured at the University of Texas, Babson College, and many others including the Federal Reserve Bank, GM/Hughes Aircraft, and the like.
In a previous and parallel life, Payack was a senior executive at three Fortune 500 companies ...
As a word analyst, Payack provides incisive analysis on the global media, words and the impact of language on various aspects of culture, including: the impact of the South Asian Tsunami, Hurricane Katrina, and the death of Pope John Paul II on the global media; Bushisms; the number of words in the English Language; the Rise of Political Correctness; the myth of the 24-hour newscycle; the top technological terms every uses but no one quite understands; the lastest in global youthspeak, and the like.
Payack first announced the Top Words of the Year, WOTY(tm) back in
2000. The history of the Top Words of the Year from 2000 to present can
he found here.
Payack’s creative work involve various aspects of language.
How come there's never a dotwatcher around when you need one - aargh! No! I'm becoming one!
It's not just me that's sceptical, folks.
Professor David Crystal, professor of linguistics at Bangor University, called the idea "the biggest load of rubbish I've heard in years".'Web 2.0' declared millionth word in English language: guardian.co.uk
He said: "It is total nonsense. English reached 1 million words years ago. It's like someone standing by the side of the road counting cars, and when they get to 1 million pronouncing that to be the millionth car in the world. It's extraordinary."
University of Queensland professor of applied language studies, Roly
Sussex, also a regular contributor to ABC Radio, says GLM is making a
noble yet impossible attempt to pinpoint the precise number of words in
the English language.
"I regard it as a provocative and intriguing attempt, but I don't think it's succeeded," Professor Sussex said.
"I'm afraid when you really look closely, this is something which cannot be decided so cleanly."
Expert scoffs at millionth-word claims: ABC News
meganonsense: noun, a supposed 'fact' about any very large collection of things.
dotwatcher: noun, a language maven, word nerd, a person who delights in pointing out spelling errors, typos, and supposed breaches of the rules of grammar whilst entirely ignoring the content of a written item.
haptualize: to manipulate one or more objects in the imagination in a manner similar to visualizing such manipulation.