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Web 2.0 declared "millionth English word"

Web 2.0 declared "millionth English word"

A US-based web monitoring firm has declared that the millionth English word is Web 2.0. Dictionary makers cry foul.

Global Language Monitor, a US-based web monitoring firm, has declared that the millionth English word is Web 2.0, a term used to describe the latest generation of web products and services.

The firm searches the web for newly coined terms, and once a word or phrase has been used at least 25,000 times, it is recognised as a word.

GLM said Web 2.0 beat competition from terms such as Jai ho, n00b and slumdog to earn its title, but traditional dictionary makers have cast doubt over the claim and the firm's methodology.

The Texas-based company makes its money by telling organisations how often they are mentioned in new media, such as the Internet, and also tracks trends for new words and expressions.

Dictionary makers have much tighter criteria for recognising new words - they have to be used for a certain amount of time, for example.

Lexicographers claim that the exact size of the English vocabulary is "impossible to quantify" but said if every technical term or specialist word was accepted then we'd already be well beyond one million words. If specialist slang is restricted, its suggested that there are only approximately 750,000 words in the English language.

When you consider a fluent speaker will only use approximately 20 to 40,000 words and you can get by with just a few thousand, the size of the English vocabulary is a little immaterial anyway

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22 Comments

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Pookeyhead 11th June 2009, 15:01 Quote
It is not a word.
Silver51 11th June 2009, 15:02 Quote
O'rly? Hax, lawl.

Imo, it's not a new word, more an existing word with a couple of digits and some errant punctuation that acts as an unnecessary suffix.



Edit: beaten to the punch by mr pook.
badders 11th June 2009, 15:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silver51
O'rly? Hax, lawl.

Imo, it's not a new word, more an existing word with a couple of digits and some errant punctuation that acts as an unnecessary suffix.

This - if anything it's a phrase, not a word.
Ape 11th June 2009, 15:06 Quote
Results 1 - 10 of about 5,020,000 for "n00b". (0.35 seconds)
liratheal 11th June 2009, 15:13 Quote
AWw, man, Knobsock isn't a word yet :(
Bauul 11th June 2009, 15:25 Quote
Funny, I could have sworn I read exactly the same article on BBC News...

Regardless of whether Web 2.0 is a word (it isn't), but surely it's been around for years, it's hardly a new word.

Now n00b, on the other hand, that's lanugage in motion!
digitaldave 11th June 2009, 15:44 Quote
I like the way the US tells us what are and are not English words now.

and they cant even spell propperly.
Horizon 11th June 2009, 16:23 Quote
I resent that, and I'm also ashamed...I mean don't we live in a democracy, I pretty sure this is one of those things you need to call a vote on.
Psytek 11th June 2009, 16:32 Quote
Anything with a space in it isn't a word.

Green house... two words
Car seventeen... two words
Web 2.0... two words... or, one word and some numbers...
WildThing 11th June 2009, 17:06 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitaldave

and they cant even spell propperly.

If you say so...
thehippoz 11th June 2009, 17:10 Quote
lol wild ^^^^ what is a web 2.0.. sounds like something a mac user would say
HourBeforeDawn 11th June 2009, 19:59 Quote
what the hell lol as others have stated its not a work, I mean maybe if it was Web2.0, maybe it would be but as Web 2.0 its not... so Windows 7 will become a word then? I mean come on...
serial_ 11th June 2009, 20:20 Quote
I nominate Interwebs to replace Web 2.0. Let's start a movement over it.
gogo
500mph 11th June 2009, 20:21 Quote
Web 2.0 is a phrase.
supermonkey 11th June 2009, 22:12 Quote
Not that I enjoy playing Devil's Advocate, but....

A word is a single element in speech or writing, and is not necessarily restricted to a single group of letters (or numerals). If you feel somehow slighted that the big, bad USA is telling you what are and are not words, then perhaps we can consult the Oxford English Dictionary. Here is one informational page from August, 2004, listing several new words in the Concise Oxford English Dictionary:
New words in August 2004

I draw your attention to the following example:
Quote:
congestion charge
n. Brit. a charge made to drive into an area, typically a city centre, that suffers heavy traffic.

There are other examples, but the point is that dictionaries often add new words that may or may not be single groups of letters; rather, they sometimes include compound words, hyphenated words, phrases, or even new uses for existing words.

Word. Peace out.

-monkey
Natima 11th June 2009, 22:46 Quote
What's the official definition of Web 2.0 then?
I can kind of imagine it being in the ledendary Dr.Johnsons dictionary (as seen in Blackadder) listed like this;
"Web 2.0: Not a word."
yodasarmpit 11th June 2009, 23:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natima
What's the official definition of Web 2.0 then?
I can kind of imagine it being in the ledendary Dr.Johnsons dictionary (as seen in Blackadder) listed like this;
"Web 2.0: Not a word."
I lol'd
tecate 12th June 2009, 01:58 Quote
Who cares?
Abhorsen 12th June 2009, 11:17 Quote
Web 2.0 refers to such things as the Semantic Web, I.e Search browsers which will utilise methods to try and interpret the meaning of what you are searching for to give you more relevant results... as an example.

The Semantic Web is what Tim Berners Lee believes to be the future of the web.
Xtrafresh 12th June 2009, 12:42 Quote
nice viral... but dare i say that those 25.000 uses of the word n00b are more then accounted for just by people yelling it at me in COD4? Yes i use the tube, so sue me dagnabbit!
Deadpunkdave 13th June 2009, 11:46 Quote
Hmm, disturbingly, online marketing types are already using Web 3.0 as well. The only accurate definition I can think of is

Web 2.0: noun, a synonym for world wide web, used primarily in order to make companies pay ridiculous amounts of money for new websites which a) they don't need and b) are generally harder to navigate and less helpful than their old website.

Setting aside the fact that our use of the internet evolves over time and doesn't make quantum leaps, the use of 'Web 2.0' is analogous to saying that when petrol cars are no longer the norm, we'll be driving whatever replaces them on Motorways 2.0. The internet is a means of sharing information; that the nature of that information has changed and our use of the system has changed does not change the system itself.
nicae 15th June 2009, 19:08 Quote
If Web 2.0 is the second element in the sequence {Web 1.0, Web 2.0, Web 3.0, ...}, then the other elements exist as soon as you incorporate Web 2.0 into the English language.
As a consequence, we now have infinte English words. Yay.
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