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The little woman was concerned about the size of our youngster vocabulary. I told her 'Relax, he knows thousands of words'. But how many does he really know? Of course a Perl program can help estimate.

This program prints a sample of the dictionary. You count how many words of the sample are known and multiply by the multiplier that is shown to estimate the size of the vocabulary. I found it easiest to redirect output to a file, use vi to delete all the unknown words and count whats left over.

On four runs of 64 word samples, I gave my boy credit for knowing 19, 18, 19 and 17. 46239 words in my dictionary gave me a multiplier of 722.5. 18 * 722.5 is about 13000 words.

Now I think I'll go give wifey the test, see if she's satisfied with her score. :)

The code is nothing spectacular, anybody here could write it, and I'm sure many could make it a one-liner, but I think it's a CUFP nonetheless.


#!/usr/bin/perl use strict; my $DICT = '/usr/dict/words'; my ($num) = @ARGV; my ($i, $total, $mult, @words); $num ||= 100; if (!open(IN, $DICT)) { print "\n$! - $DICT\n\n"; exit; } $total = @words = <IN>; $mult = $total / $num; for $i (1..$num) { print splice(@words, rand(@words), 1); } print "$total words in dictionary.\n"; print "Multiply number of words known in this list by $mult.\n";

In reply to Estimating Vocabulary by YuckFoo

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