LONDON, June 22, 2006 (AFP) – A new list of the most common nouns in the English language published in the latest Oxford dictionary reveals that English speakers are obsessed with time, Oxford University Press (OUP) researchers said Thursday. The word “time” topped the list, with “year” in third place and “day” in fifth position and “week” at 17th.
“Person” reached number two on the list but men are still on top, with “man” ranking at number seven, “child” at 12 and “woman” trailing at 14.
“Work” appears at number 16, while “rest” and “play” are nowhere to be seen in the top 100.
“Money” appears not to be as important as people might think, weighing in at number 65, although researchers thought this could be due to the multitude of other related words such as “cash”.
English speakers talk about “war”, 49th, far more than “peace”, which does not even feature in the top 100.
The common nouns section appears in the revised eleventh edition of the Concise Oxford English Dictionary, considered as the definitive guide to the evolving language.
The dictionary’s content is taken from the Oxford English Corpus, which contains a billion words.
OUP project manager Angus Stevenson said the frequency with which words such as