Sunday, August 15, 2004

Word Count

Word Count ( is a fascinating site. It lists the 86,000 most popular words in the English language in rank order. (See if you can guess, say, the top ten, before visiting the site.) You can follow the list from #1 using the "next word", or type in a word to find where it ranks.

I figure this site a useful resource for language teachers...if I'm going to help my six year old learn to read, I should probably teach her the top 25 or 50 words by sight, eh? Spelling, too. And it is probably a useful resource for writers, too, especially if their audience is new readers or second language learners.

Speaking of language learning, my 9 month old has started calling "Dada" when I am out of sight, and "Mama" when Mom can't be seen, and both emerged the same week. She is also signing for "hungry", "thirsty", and "up" (as in "lift me up out of this high chair") since we are teaching her baby sign language. So that's five words she knows for sure.

Sleep deprivation continues for my wife and I. My wife forgot pans on the stove long enough to burn, almost long enough to catch fire. (That was my stick with our first child...almost set the house on fire three times in first two months from forgetting bottles sterilizing on the stove...) And I am so tired I keep forgetting where I am supposed to be driving and end up taking the wrong turn. And I can'tremember what I am saying to my students half the time. I'll start saying something, then go blank as I forget the word or name I was going to say next: "guy with a beard? Studied with Hegal? Lived in Germany? Oh, I can see his face so clearly..."

"Do you mean Marx, Sir?"

"Yeah, that's it. So anyway, what Marx said was..."

As with our first child, I figure I lose a word for every word my kid learns one. Keeps the balance in the universe somehow, I guess.

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