Michael Proffitt is interviewed by CNN’s Christiane Amanpour.
From a CNN Article:
The average English-speaker knows between 25,000 and 40,000 words, Oxford English Dictionary Chief Editor Michael Proffitt told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday.
His organization – which bills itself as the “definitive record of the English language” – has recorded 800,000 words and counting, he said.
“Even people who are doing 40,000, at the highest end, it’s about five percent of what we’ve got in the OED,” he said. “And that’s not all the words in the language.”
Proffitt has just taken over the helm of the OED, the first succession in 20 years, and he faces a unique challenge.