Personally, I know relatively very few of them. Words, that is, not ‘them’.
I found this out by the reading of written words. In books and such. Some I had to look up.
Anyhow, these 900,000+ words are only words used in english and does not include words we add to our communications with one another from other countries, slang and the like, plus the words I (and others) make up for either lack of an appropriate one or just out of sheer disknowledge. <There is one I just made up. Not a ‘real’ word but you still understand my meaning....hopefully. (If I added an ‘ac’ to that, it would be disacknowledge, a real word and one that defines what some might do with this post.)
Words can be confusing because many can have multiple meanings, can be ‘taken out of context’ and/or be ‘misinterpreted’. And that is just the start. I think this may be true of other languages as well, but I am only fluent in english (and since I have discovered there are at least 900,000 english words and I know perhaps a mere few thousand or so (if even that many) I don't know if I actually qualify for ‘fluent.’)
I still love words though. Nice ones and naughty ones. I use as many as I know as often as necessary and even oftener, except for the naughty ones which I generally reserve for use when extremely angry only. Or when driving.
It is actually amazing when you think about it, that humans went from grunts and gestures to 900.000 words. Well, actually I guess it is just as amazing and/or disturbing that humans went from a handful (or two, whichever way you wish to attribute it) to over 7+ billion. As I have said numerous times, a whole lot of begetting and in-begetting going on there, and still continuing....well at least the begetting and hopefully not the in-begetting anymore (except perhaps in the South. <(Meant in jest! I’m sure that goes on other places as well.) The planet can only support a certain amount of life, you know. This is a very important subject but this post is not about the planet and how it's natural resources will eventually run out, if we don't blow it up first or just totally pollute it beyond redemption. No this is about words. Important words. Useless words. Actions speak louder, but the pen is mightier. Paper covers rock, but rock lasts much longer than paper, unless of course the paper is mixed with plastic which may make it survive, not unlike diapers in a landfill, perhaps longer than even a rock, which acid rain can obliterate in time.
The above is approximately, 400 different words, more or less. Approximately. But there are repeats of many which makes it difficult to count <(actual lazy excuse.) Especially with shoes on. Have I mentioned I am mathematically challenged? Anyhow, at least I know approximately 400 words, give or take. And maybe even more. I should make a list of all the words I know but would that be anal retentive? Anal as in anus. Retentive as in retaining stuff...stuff I do not like to think about. I know a lot of people who speak from their anus, or arse if you prefer. At least they sound like arses when they speak. Anal speakers which I wish would retain the crap they spew. That is just gross isn't it.
Arse...hehe...that's a fun word, though. I think it should no longer be 'A' is for apple. I think it should be officially 'A' is for arse. (Since most everyone has one, but not everyone has an apple. Well, maybe they do, as in Adam's Apple. And not a computer brand owned by a guy named Adam, either. Enough. Instead, let's all say it aloud....ARSE. Isn't that fun.
(Addendum#1- A joint study (Harvard/Google) was done in December 2010 and found the english language to contain 1,022,000 words and to expand at the rate of 8,500 words per year. The findings came from a computer analysis of 5,195,769 digitalized books. Others have estimated a rate of growth of 25,000 words each year. That would mean, today, there are actually...wait, let me take my shoes off and do some formal calculating....1,022,000+8,500x2+4,250 <(half of this year)=1,043,250. If you go by the added 25,000 words each year, it would be 1,084,500. Wow!!!!...no, not at the number of words, just that I was able to do the math, I’m REALLY bad at it. And I did not pull any of this information out of my ARSE, I looked it up online. So whether true or not, it comes from another’s arse, not mine!)