Wednesday, March 27, 2019

50 percent of English usage comes from only 135 words

In applying his method for rapid skill acquisition to learning how to touch-type with a different keyboard layout, Josh Kaufman noted that “only 135 words account for 50 percent of all English usage.” That's a remarkable number. (Given that “the” accounts for 7.5 percent and “of” accounts for 3.5 percent, that also speaks to possible inefficiencies of English.)

He didn't apply his method to language learning as that no doubt would take more than 20 hours of practice to reach a level of basic proficiency. Nonetheless, it still speaks to the fact that there are efficiencies to be found in applying intelligence and strategy to language learning. Granted, it may be “more involved than academic learning,” but it's also more quickly rewarding.

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