All The Words I Know

Have you ever thought about your range of vocabulary?

Words 001It came to me a earlier this week watch a video of my granddaughter reading a book. Halfway between four and five, she was actually reading a book well into her age ability, and reading with expression of the words flowing from her mouth.

I am reminded of the marvelous experience of my own kids as they took to reading like a fish in water. My son was reading full books before he was four, and loved the stories about volcanoes, whales, and dinosaurs. My daughter was a little later, and more in line with the her age group, reading books and sounded much like my granddaughter. Regardless, they are both loaded with vocabulary and have learned to write them into wonderful books to read.

In retrospect, I do not remember learning to read as they did. Their world included the likes of Electric Company, Mr Rogers Neighborhood, and Sesame Street all seemed to focus on learning how to put words together from their individual sounds. Phonics.

I do remember mom getting a subscription of Dr Seuss books mailed. After we moved to Seabrook, I remember taking the new stack of books out to a picnic table, and read them over and over. Books were important to me, and more important than cartoons or Saturday morning TV.  Hardy Boys, Tom Swift, and a host of other books kept my eyes glued to the pages, one after another.

A typical 2-year old has a ready vocabulary of 25-50 words, and the ability to join words together to make simple statements: “my book”, “want more”. Multiply this by 4-5 times and you will have the word span of a typical 3-year old. (Click Here) Multiply that even more and a typical 4-year old will know between 4,000-6,000 words. (Click Here)

How many words should a typical adult know? It all depends on how they keep adding to their foundation! But there are sources that suggest it is not unusual that adults have between 20,000-35,000 words in their vocabulary. Think about it! At age 20, you have lived only 7,300 days! Between the age of 2-20, that’s learning nearly 5 words per day! From day of birth, till the 20th celebration of birth, 5 words socked into the memory banks per day!

Words have always been important to me. Not so much those that were forced on me, but those that drew me into the stories and subjects I was hungry for – westerns, science, mystery, detectives, war, cars, history… An insatiable thirst for stories and knowledge.

Childcraft BooksWhen my parents bought a set of World Book Encyclopedia’s, they included a Childcraft “knowledge” series that covered typical school material of the day. Books chock full of things to learn, and do!


Bible Story BooksAlong with these were Bible Story books with pictures that covered Genesis to Revelations.

If I am not mistaken, there was not a single one of these books I did not inhale.

My basis is to continually learn, and I do it by “doing” and by “reading. Constantly reading and bettering myself from the knowledge attained. It has been easier to do this with modern technology. All of my digital books have search abilities, and connection to reference material that allows me to dig deeper.

Words represent my ability to know, but not necessarily my ability to comprehend. Joining words together helps to develop understanding, and by such my comprehension of “reasons” are improved.

Repetition of reading enhances my comprehension. You seldom gain understanding from a single reading. That’s why I think it important to constantly read what you are attempting to understand.

Think about the bible times. There were not many books available to the common household. Most of their knowledge came by repetition of stories. Over and over, the Word was read out loud. This is true of every culture around the world. If there were books, it was the same way. If there were no books then it was simply a recitation from speaker to hearer.

Jesus spoke in such times, and his words were remembered and written years later by followers who had the call to write.

  • … The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. (John 6:63 NKJV)
  • Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.
    (Matthew 24:35 NKJV) (Mark 13:31, Luke 21:33)
  • If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. (John 15:7 NKJV)
  • Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.  (John 14:23 NKJV)

It’s important to know His words… Hearing them. Reading them. Studying them. Living with them in your heart, on your mind and flowing from your lips. They are spirit. They are life.

This is what I try to do. Read about the world around me. A lot. And constantly put his words into my path so they are real to me every moment of every day.