How Many Words Are There in the English Language?: Critical Linking, August 9, 2020

Critical Linking, a daily roundup of the most interesting bookish links from around the web, is sponsored by Hawk by James Patterson.


“Perhaps the answer in this case is a different question: how many words do speakers of a language know? That answer is similarly murky, but according to at least one study, the average 20-year-old native English speaker knows an average of 42,000 words. In a 2011 interview with the BBC, lexicographer Susie Dent estimated that while an English speaker may know around 40,000 words, they only actively use about 20,000 of them.”

So many words!


“FIYAH, the Magazine of Black Speculative Fiction, has announced the creation of the very first Ignyte Awards. Awarded in conjunction with the inaugural FIYAHCON, the awards ‘seek to celebrate the vibrancy of the current and future landscapes of science fiction, fantasy, and horror by recognizing incredible feats in storytelling and outstanding efforts toward inclusivity of the genre.'”

If you don’t know about FIYAH yet, you need to.


“The great books from which I learned to write contained many women’s bodies. They were often beautiful bodies, and very captivating, or else they were ugly and therefore uninteresting—they contained flighty and irrational or ardent and empty creatures that held little value beyond their beauty or lack of it. Now the books I read more often, and the books I continue to learn from, and to love, investigate the complexity of the insides. These books take the body—women’s bodies—seriously, allowing it to be an organ of both thought and sense. Here are some of my favorites.”

More books that take our bodies seriously, por favor.

Holiday deals are here! Save 30% or more on mugs, wall art, and more at Society6!