And "floopy" makes it a million and one?
Have I mentioned how much I love the Good Word feature at Slate?
The latest is from Jesse Sheidlower, editor at large of the OED. He talks about the Global Language Monitor's silly prediction that the English language is about to add its millionth word.
I wrote in February about how the group's president, Paul Payack, was counting shorthand from texting (I CN for I can) and slang (drinktea and fundoo). There's no word on whether floopy is included.
Sheidlower talks about the difficulty in developing criteria.
Dictionaries include great-grandfather but not great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather, which is real enough to get over 3,500 Google hits. Only the most basic numbers are typically included; Merriam-Webster, for example, includes twenty-one and twenty-two, but not twenty-three or thirty-one. In fact, if you were to count every number between 0 and 999,999 as a word, you'd have a cool million right there -- ?and still have the rest of the English language to account for.The millionth-word claim is bogus, but news orgs are still running stories about it.
So be on the lookout in the next few months. Global Language Monitor predicts that the millionth word will be added around June. (As of March 21, there were 988,968 words, it said.) The group may have an algorithm helping it determine when that point comes, but that doesn't make the number any more accurate.