I know I usually save up all of my random links for my weekly del.icio.us posts, but this one is just too cool. It’s a flash program that displays over 80,000 English words, in order from most used to least used. The way it dynamically scrolls through the list reminds me a lot of the Baby Name Wizard I wrote about previously.

I had a lot of fun typing in random words to see where they fell in the scale. After I had played around with it for a little bit using common words, I started trying to think of the most obscure word I knew to see how close to the bottom of the scale I could get. After trying lots of unusual words (but without using a dictionary, trying only words that I actually knew), the best word I could come up with that might actually be used in a normal conversation was “attestation”, which ranked 73,132. As far as technical or scientific words go, the best I could do was “zooxanthellae” (a type of algae that lives inside corals), which ranked 83,108.

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