New, better(?) vocabulary test

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by Fraggle Rocker, Jul 20, 2011.

  1. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    24,690 is a more recently crafted vocabulary test than the one that was presented here a few months ago. I took it and scored 35,300.

    Obviously they define "vocabulary" differently than the other test. Our members rather persuasively argued that if you don't count inflections (-s, -ing, -ed, etc.), even people like Winston Churchill don't have the 100,000-word vocabulary they are often reputed to have. I scored something like 18,000 on that test.

    However, that test was obviously about 100 years old. It had many words that are virtually obsolete today, but none of the words from science, politics, technology and other fields that are now in common use. (E.g., "nuclear," which fits in all three categories.) This one is more modern. In many cases, even when I didn't know what a word meant, at least I could recall encountering it.

    I'll be interested to hear:
    • A. What you folks think of the test,
    • B. How you score,
    • C. How you think they define "vocabulary", and
    • D. What a realistic maximum score would be for a modern-day Churchill.
    This test may align with my Powers-Of-Three Fluency Scale, which neatly tops out at a high score of 10 for 100,000 words (approximately 3^10).
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  3. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    1. It was easy, I didn't feel a thing and the fees were very reasonable as well.

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    2. 28,700 words.

    3. Vocabulary would be the amount of words that you understand, what they are, what they mean and how to use them.

    4. Don't know but as a guess over 50,000.
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  5. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    A: First test I've taken since TOEFL in 2004 - it was tougher!

    B: score: 36,700 words. Fell apart on the second page especially the last column. Never even heard these words before. Great test!

    C: Seems like a lot of the words on the second page never see daylight. I'm going to try and work them into conversations and see how they pan out! I like that they define vocabulary without derivations

    D: No idea - never explored Churchills fluency
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2011
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  7. nietzschefan Thread Killer Valued Senior Member

  8. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    Sure, but it comes down to the definition of a "word." Is do/doing/does/did/done one word or five words? Automated text-scanning vocabulary evaluators probably have to count it as five because it would be a daunting task to program it to recognize every irregular verb.

    But in highly inflected languages like Spanish it would be ludicrous to count every inflected form of a verb as an individual word. Amar, amo, amas, ama, amamos, amais, aman, ame, amaste, amo, amasteis, amaron, amaba, amabas, amabamos, amabais, amaban, amare, amaras, amara, amaremos, amareis, amaran, amaria, amarias, amariamos, amariais, amarian, amara, amaras, amaramos, amarais, amaran, amase, amases, amasemos, amaseis, amasen. 38 different inflected forms of the verb "love."

    (Forgive me for leaving out the accemt marks on many of those; it's way too much trouble to paste them. The ones that look like duplicates are really not, e.g., ame and amé.)
  9. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    But I was under the assumption that I was asked about a "vocabulary" not just a word as you now are pointing out. The exact words that were written out on that test were only single words but a few of them could have had different meanings depending upon how they were used in a sentence. Since I was only to determine what the word itself meant, I only answered that one single question on the test. If it would have asked more that that single question I would have tried to answer that as well, but it didn't, so I'm again only talking about a single word and no derivatives of it what so ever.
  10. Gustav Banned Banned

  11. Gustav Banned Banned


    uh oh
    you just disqualified yourself
    prepare to be escorted out

  12. quadraphonics Bloodthirsty Barbarian Valued Senior Member

    I scored 37,500.

    Suck it!
  13. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member


    I wish I could be just like my hero, quadraphonics.
  14. cosmictraveler Be kind to yourself always. Valued Senior Member

    Slowly backs away,

    not knowing what is wrong,

    thinking all was good.:shrug:
  15. chimpkin C'mon, get happy! Registered Senior Member

    Huh, it thinks I know 37,000 words even. And this time I was being really honest and careful.

    Except I just checked myself...and damn if oneiromancy wasn't fortunetelling through dreams!

    I got it confused with oomantia, the telling of fortunes by breaking an egg!

    Stupid! Gawd!*headdesk*

    I look for omens in what birds and animals do; ornithomancy and zoomancy respectively. Apparently I look for crappy omens.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2011
  16. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    I would have figured out ornithomancy and zoomancy; I might have puzzled out oomantia, realizing that it's just a grammatical inflection of oomancy, and that oo- probably means "egg" in Greek. But I don't know the root oneiro- so I stumbled on that one.
    That would be copromancy, right?

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  17. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

    It came up with 37,800

    There were some I could have guessed at, and I didn't mark those as positive. Some are possibly right.
    On the other hand, I may have been mistaken about knowing what other words meant, so it should balance out.

    Chivvy. Cheat?
    Disjunctive. Unconnected?
    Fuddle. Confuse?
    Sedulous. I should know that, I've seen it often.
    Epigone. Looks like some word to do with acting. No idea really.
    Captious. Similar to captivating?
    Tenebrous. Long winded?
    Vibrissae. Sensitive hairs?
    Estivation. Spring Growth?
    Clerisy. Clerical?
    Opsimath. Someone who chooses their path of learning?
    Pule. Actually, I think I do know this, it is a baby being sick. Shakespeare's Macbeth.
  18. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

    Opsimath is a very useful word. It means someone who learns late in life. Greek opse means late.

    Pule doesn't quite mean a baby being sick, but means to cry plaintively. Well, it's to do with babies.

    Disjunctive means lacking connection, so that was right.

    Tenebrous. Shadowy, obscure. ( not a full failure)

    Captious means finding fault.

    Sedulous refers to a person who applies themselves to a task very conscientiously.

    Vibrissae. I got right.

    Chivvy means to attack with minor complaints. I'm sure there's a word like that which means to divide. Chivvy up.

    Estivation has to do with summer rather than spring. It is summer Hibernation.
    I have seen the word before, but forgot the definition.

    Epigone. Another useful word, except if you want to use it because few will know its meaning. Means a second rate follower. Alternatively, it is a useless word, as insults lead nowhere. Forget it.

    Clerisy. The class of educated people. Clerical does come from the same root probably. Half mark?

    This does seem a better vocabulary test, if it is taken truthfully.
    For my vocabulaty, its probably not far off, I'd say. I've answered it honestly.
    I would imagine that most people's vocabularies are higher than the score they get, because the test is of standard words.
    Whatever your field of special interest is, it's probable that you know hundreds of specialist words, and that you know hundreds more of other secondary fields.

    I wonder how many specialist words a Doctor needs to know to do his job.

    Perhaps people could do the same as me and have a list of words they think they perhaps know, rather than marking them right or wrong.
    The check them later. And tell the rest of us.

    Nice thread Fraggle.

    @Sam. If English is your second language, your score is terrific.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2011
  19. adoucette Caca Occurs Valued Senior Member


    I never heard of the words Capt K listed either, plus some more.

    Knowing and Using aren't the same thing.

    I know a lot more words than I use.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2011
  20. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

    The word I was thinking of was not pule, it was a combination of mewl and puke. I seem to have joined them together. And it wasn't Macbeth it was As You Like it.

    Jacques: All the world's a stage,
    And all the men and women merely players;
    They have their exits and their entrances,
    And one man in his time plays many parts,
    His acts being seven ages. At first, the infant,
    Mewling and puking in the nurse's arms.
    Then the whining schoolboy, with his satchel
    And shining morning face, creeping like snail
    Unwillingly to school. And then the lover,
    Sighing like furnace, with a woeful ballad
    Made to his mistress' eyebrow. Then a soldier,
    Full of strange oaths and bearded like the pard*,
    Jealous in honour, sudden and quick in quarrel,
    Seeking the bubble reputation
    Even in the canon's mouth. And then the justice,
    In fair round belly with good capon* lined,
    With eyes severe and beard of formal cut,
    Full of wise saws* and modern instances;
    And so he plays his part. The sixth age shifts
    Into the lean and slippered pantaloon*
    With spectacles on nose and pouch on side;
    His youthful hose, well saved, a world too wide
    For his shrunk shank, and his big manly voice,
    Turning again toward childish treble, pipes
    And whistles in his* sound. Last scene of all,
    That ends this strange eventful history,
    Is second childishness and mere oblivion,
    Sans* teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2011
  21. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

    Its on par with my first language which is Urdu except in terms of exposure to literary terms i.e. most people I would converse with would have limited English vocab as compared to their grasp of the local lingua franca whatever it may be [this is Bombay-Mumbai after all]. My reading is mostly technical in the last few decades so it all comes down to what I can absorb from newspapers which narrows down the field of exposure considerably [reading literature is different from reading scientific literature since 1,25-dihydroxycholecalciferol or benzodiazepine does not show up on many vocabulary tests]
  22. Gustav Banned Banned

    must i remain the perpetual village idiot?

  23. arfa brane call me arf Valued Senior Member


    I got 39,400.
    Don't ask.

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