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How Fast and How Many Words Do You Use? [VIDEO]

Sean Shannon of Canada hold the Guiness World record for fastest talking (Youtube)

The English language is the second-most spoken language in the world, but it has the most words of any language in the world. It’s estimated English has up to a million possible words. Officially, the Oxford Dictionary contains 200,000 words, many you probably never heard of, much less ever used. In fact most adults use very few words when you consider how many they have to choose from.

The typical adult has a vocabulary of about 25,000 words, that’s only 1/8th of the possible words in the Oxford Dictionary. The typical teenager’s vocabulary is only about 10,000 words and dominated by the word “like”.

How about the rate that people use words? Most people speak at a rate of 120 words a minute – that’s two words a second. Some people can rattle off up to 190 words a minute.

We guys in radio are sometimes asked to read commercials that have so many words we end up blurting out 300 words a minute and hope you understand them all.

That’s nothing compared to some of the word’s fastest talkers. The current Guinness World Record for Fast Talking is held by Sean Shannon of Canada at 655 words a minute. The video is an example of his talent, but the question is how many of the words can you understand?

A New York woman, Fran Capo holds the record for fastest talking female at 603 words a minute.


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