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We all know that English is the longest of all the languages with 170,000+ words and the count is still increasing.

Nowadays, people are experimenting to use lots of uncommon words in their sentences making it difficult to understand by a common man.

  1. Is there any solution for understanding those sentences?
  2. Why this language is still increasing? Are there not enough words to express the things?
  3. How do we understand the meaning of a sentence having words that we are not familiar with?

closed as off-topic by Jason Bassford, Michael Rybkin, choster, user3169, shin Aug 17 '18 at 16:33

  • This question does not appear to be about learning the English language within the scope defined in the help center.
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    This question is more suitable for the Linguistics Stack Exchange community. This particular website typically only addresses questions related to English grammar and usage that learners of the English language might have and not questions about its history and development. – Michael Rybkin Aug 16 '18 at 0:50
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    I'm voting to close this question as off-topic because it is about linguistic development, not about learning how to use English, as only a relatively small vocabulary is required for proficiency. – choster Aug 16 '18 at 14:34
  • How do babies manage to do it? – Tᴚoɯɐuo Aug 16 '18 at 15:43
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Every language has to adapt to

  • new technologies
  • new products
  • new services

Also, for example, depending on the country, you have the following:

  1. need to adapt informal and "new words" used in the daily life
  2. 10 years ago Twitter didn't exist and therefore the tweet action didn't exist either
  3. 30 years ago Google didn't exist so you didn't use "google it" for searching information about a topic

Perhaps the main reason for this is the lack of an academic language for Anglo people which regulates the official incorporation of new words, terms and expressions

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Nowadays, people are experimenting to use lots of uncommon words in their sentences making it difficult to understand by a common man. How do we understand the meaning of a sentence having words that we are not familiar with? Is there any solution for understanding those sentences?

This raises an interesting question: Is using a less common word a good thing, or a bad thing?

On one hand, when we use less common words, we risk making a sentence more difficult to understand. Mark Twain once advised, “Don't use a five-dollar word when a fifty-cent word will do.”

On the other hand, if all language was reduced to its simplest form, our paragraphs could become dull and puerile.

So, how can we understand a sentence with an unfamiliar word? Context often helps. I may not be familiar with the word cochineal, but if I saw it in a sentence like this one:

The cochineal sky reflected off the water at sunset.

I might (incorrectly) guess that the word means something like "cloudy". If I'm astute enough to realize it's referring to a color, I can guess the color matches a color often seen at sunset.

Why would a writer use cochineal instead of red? Sometimes a more unusual word sets a tone; sometimes it infuses a degree of descriptive precision. There may be 20 shades of red, but not all of them suggest the deep vivid carmine of cochineal.

One fundamental piece of writing advice is, "Know your audience." If I am giving a formal talk at a scientific conference with a large contingent of internationals, I might simplify my flowery language, knowing that many attendees may have limited vocabulary. However, I would be less likely to simplify my technical language, since the attendees are presumed experts in the field. On the other hand, if I'm writing a fictional work about quests and dragons and swords and kings, I would be more likely to use language that helps the reader get lost in my imaginary world, and less likely to talk about, say, quantum entanglement.

When context and all else fails, a good dictionary can be a very good friend.

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    I like this answer, because it emphasizes that sophisticated language conveys more than just the literal meaning of the words. – Ian Aug 16 '18 at 7:02

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