It is impossible to quantify how many words there are in the English language.

This is mainly due to how our words can be used for multiple meanings and whether in counting them, one makes allowances for this.

Suffice to say, there are 171,476 words in current use, and 47,156 obsolete words. New words are added to the Oxford Dictionary of English each year.

These are often selected through popular usage, much to the horror of some linguistic specialists.

Language can empower through description.

It can also do the direct opposite, when chosen poorly.



Language matters, it truly does.

What image do you think of when you read these words ‘disabled person’?

How is this different from the use of ‘person with a disability’ or ‘people with disabilities’?

Language can assist by being restorative, equitable and by demonstrating human compassionate.

This is also the case when describing dementia.

Alzheimer’s Australia is currently exploring the use of language in terms of dementia and those that are challenged with coping with a decline in mental acuity.

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