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How many English words are collected by MS Encarta Dictionary?

hi folks,

i have been curious about this question for long time since encarta 99. i really like to know the answer and better know its source. i had tried to search the particular specifications of encarta 2003/2005 on the net but got nothing for this question.

thank you guys in advance.

1 Solution
I'm not sure if this helps but I recall that Shakespere used a total vocabulary of around 60,000 words and the average person uses around 25,000.

I also recall that there are something in excess of 100,000 common use English language words.
There is no single sensible answer to this question. It is impossible to count the number of words in a language, because it is so hard to decide what counts as a word. Is dog one word, or two (a noun meaning 'a kind of animal', and a verb meaning 'to follow persistently')? If we count it as two, then do we count inflections separately too (dogs plural noun, dogs present tense of the verb). Is dog-tired a word, or just two other words joined together? Is hot dog really two words, since we might also find hot-dog or even hotdog?

It is also difficult to decide what counts as 'English'. What about medical and scientific terms? Latin words used in law, French words used in cooking, German words used in academic writing, Japanese words used in martial arts? Do you count Scots dialect? Youth slang? Computing jargon?

The Second Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary contains full entries for 171,476 words in current use, and 47,156 obsolete words. To this may be added around 9,500 derivative words included as subentries. Over half of these words are nouns, about a quarter adjectives, and about a seventh verbs; the rest is made up of interjections, conjunctions, prepositions, suffixes, etc. These figures take no account of entries with senses for different parts of speech (such as noun and adjective).

This suggests that there are, at the very least, a quarter of a million distinct English words, excluding inflections, and words from technical and regional vocabulary not covered by the OED, or words not yet added to the published dictionary, of which perhaps 20 per cent are no longer in current use. If distinct senses were counted, the total would probably approach three quarters of a million.

MS Encarta in English has a vocabulary that consists of more than 1 million words, including slang and dialect expressions and scientific and technical or medical terms.
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What me worry?  Encarta is a DEAD product.  The new stuff is ONLINE encyclopaedias, like WIKIPEDIA and many others.  These have essentially SUNK the commercial encyclopedias, like Encarta, and Groliers and the others.  There are over 10 million words in the english language, because many of the MOSt common are not recognized by encyclopedias.  YOu want an example?

Look at the common word "scam".  Many companies "scam" the public to get their money, Bush scams the American public to get their confidential data, and computer companies "scam" you with licensing regulations that are totally one sided -- an agreement is a two sided thing, not a onesided set of demands.

Yet you can search all the encyclopedias and dictionaries, and you will not find the word "SCAM" as a legitimate word in their books, even though millions of people use it.  So dictionaries and encyclopedias are not the start or end of anything, they are in fact an OUTDATED view of the world.  Look to the online stuff like Wikipedia as the *evolving* language we are all learning.  That is the future. There is 10x more words and ideas in the online resources than those existing in obsolete products like "Encarta", and MS marketing ploy.
>>>Encarta is a DEAD product.
dunn be too harsh!!!

i dunn knwo abt d no of words in encarta dictionary but there r nearly 40,000 articles in this encyclopedia
and 4 me,it's rich in terms of contents n useful too!
bbaoIT ConsultantAuthor Commented:
thanks you for your comments!

every coin has two sides. IMO, encarta dictionary is a good and useful dictionary software bundled with encarta encyclopedia though its pronunciation is not very clear and its UI is not enough handy for keyboard only operations.

well, as i mentioned, i just want to know the particular specifications of encarta 2003/2005, such as number of english words, sources of explanations, number of words with pronunciations, kinds of dialects included, etc.

i have found some similar information but NOT specific for encarta as i expected:


any clues?

bbaoIT ConsultantAuthor Commented:
hi folks, any ideas on how to get the answer which I have been looking for, for years, hehe. thanks! bbao
bbaoIT ConsultantAuthor Commented:
i prefer making it a PAQ.
PAQed with points refunded (500)

Community Support Moderator
bbaoIT ConsultantAuthor Commented:
thanks a lot. :)

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