How big is your vocabulary?

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by James R, Apr 1, 2011.

  1. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,825
    Inspired by [thread=106547]this thread[/thread] and the discussion therein, I had a quick look for some online vocabulary estimators.

    Here are three tests, just for comparison:

    1. Test your vocabulary
    2. Estimate the size of your vocabulary
    3. Test your vocab

    Test 1 (C) is the one used in the previous thread. It's manual and you calculate your own score. Tests 2 and 3 are more automated.

    Results vary wildly from test to test!

    According to test 1 (version C of that test), my vocabulary is about 17000 words or so, which is good but not brilliant by any means.
    According to test 3, my vocabulary is over double that - 35,200 words - which puts me in the (approximately) 85th percentile. Pretty good, huh?

    And as for test 2, it says I understand 97834 words, can infer the meanings of another 7932 and recognise having seen another 6610. That would appear to make me a super-genius, but compared to other takers of that test, apparently I'm only in the 60th percentile - barely above average.

    What to make of this?

    I suspect these tests are just not very accurate. The most "scientific" of the three seems to be test 3, which admits to an error margin of plus-or-minus 10%. If that's the case, then my vocabulary could be anything from 31680 words to 38720 words. Either way, I'd say that's probably too high.

    If you want an ego boost, or just want to do these for fun, feel free to post your results here. But let's not take any of these tests too seriously.

    If you're going to do just one of the tests, I recommend test 3, but I strongly suspect its results are too high.
     
  2. birch Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    2,185
    my vocabulary is 30,300 words according to this test (3). this is also probably because english is not my first language if that was factored in since they did ask.

    though i understand the meaning of many words, my grammar is not as up to par as most native speakers.
     
  3. Dywyddyr Penguinaciously duckalicious. Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    16,528
    Test 1: 24,000
    Test 2: Understood: 100478, Inferred: 14543, Familiar: 3966
    Test 3: 43,300
     
  4. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,416
    Test 2: 93, 868 understood, 11,899 inferred, 14,543 familiar ( by which I think they mean not quite sure of the meaning, but sorta-kinda can pick it out due to word structure? If not then that's not accurate.)
    But when I understood, I mean I nailed it.
     
  5. Enmos Staff Member

    Messages:
    43,045
    Test 2: around 70,000 understood. Forgot to remember inferred and familiar..
     
  6. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,829
    Test 3: 35,800
     
  7. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    31,035
    The words I use weren't in the lists! As examples:

    Aeroma (ayr oh' ma) - n. The odor emanating from an exercise room after an aerobics workout.

    Aeropalmics (ayr o palm' iks) - n. The study of wind resistance conducted by holding a cupped hand out the car window.

    Agonosis (ah uh no' sis) - n. The syndrome of tuning into "Wide World of Sports" every Saturday just to watch the skier rack himself.

    Airdirt (ayr' dirt) - n. A hanging plant that's been ignored for three weeks or more.

    ambivilane - the striped area by an exit ramp where people often pull off when trying to decide "Is this my exit?"

    Anaception (an a sep' shun) - n. The body's ability to actually affect television reception by moving about the room.

    Animalanche: When you kick your stuffed animals in your sleep and they
    fall all over you or the floor. (from Kaffit, age 9)

    Anticiparcellate (an ti si par' sel ate) - v. Waiting until the mailman is several houses down the street before picking up the mail, so as not too appear too anxious.

    Aquadextrous - adj. Possessing the ability to turn the bathtub faucet on and off with your toes.


    more at:
    http://bertc.com/subfour/truth/sniglets.htm
     
  8. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    4,416
    I went ahead and did test number 3, it says I know about 35,000 words...rounding down, because I'm probably over-crediting myself.

    But I was guessing that a caitiff was a thief...
    Oh hell, wrong again!

    That's where I saw it at though, thank you google: reading the book on white wolf's vampire RPG...
     
  9. NCDane Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    147
    Test 2:

    70,565 known
    24,333 inferred
    2,433 familiar

    97,331 TOTAL

    And I do not believe that result is close. It is probably 4-5 times
    too high.

    It would be much too high even if such constructions as cat-cats
    and meowed-meows-meowing count as more than one word.

    Somebody typoed the formula at that site.

    PS I went ahead and took Test 3 also. Words known:

    34,700 TOTAL

    These fircken clowns- one guy says 97k, the next guy says 34.7k.

    I doesn't help that they are trying to tell me I have a vocabulary
    not slightly but much greater than Shakespeare's. Bullshit.

    As far as I am concerned they are both lying bastard frauds, and
    I think we should expand Guantanamo or reopen Alcatraz, and
    lock them up for life, no parole.
     
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2011

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