Inminente millonésima palabra

Diccionarios
Image caption Se predice que la millonésima palabra del idioma inglés está por crearse.

Millionth English word imminent

It is being claimed that the millionth word in the English language is about to be created. A US company which follows the use of language on the internet has made the prediction. However traditional dictionary makers aren't so sure....

Reporter: Lawrence Pollard

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The idea of the millionth word entering the English language is a brilliant bit of public relations for Texas-based Global Language Monitor. GLM runs a powerful search service which monitors web traffic. They make their money telling organisations how often their name is mentioned in new media, such as the internet.

What they can also do is search for newly coined words. Once a word has been used 25,000 times on social networking sites and such like, GLM declares it to be a new word. By their calculations a new word is created in English every 98 minutes, hence the estimate that the millionth word is about to be created.

If you talk to lexicographers, however, dictionary professionals, they tell a slightly different story. Dictionaries have tighter criteria about what constitutes a new word, for example, it has to be used over a certain period of time. Lexicographers will tell you that the exact size of English vocabulary is impossible to quantify, but if you accept every technical term or obscure specialist word then we're already way beyond a million. And if you restrict inclusion of specialist slang, then there are possibly three quarters of a million words in English. All of which is way beyond the 20 - 40,000 words that a fluent speaker would use, or the few thousand you could get by with in English. Basically, with 1.5 billion people speaking some version of the language, it's small wonder English is the fastest growing tongue in the world.

Lawrence Pollard, Arts Correspondent, London

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public relations relaciones públicas

monitors web traffic monitorea el tráfico de los sitios web

newly coined recién inventada o usada

tighter criteria criterios más estrictos

constitutes (qué) se considera

quantify medir o contar

obscure no muy conocida

restrict inclusion of specialist slang se limita la inclusión de lenguaje informal (jerga)

small wonder no es de sorprender

tongue idioma/lengua