In 2008: How Many Words will you write or type?

Seems like a silly topic, and it is, but exactly how many words will you put together during a year? How many has humanity wrote (not published in Gutenberg form) in the course of its existence?

Right now, we got about 6.5 Billion bodies on the Earth. Figure 75% are (or will be) literate. And that is very optimistic total. So, 4.875 Billion. Figure human existence has offered another 13-20 Billion souls up. But Literacy rate was way, way down. Say 10% at best, probably more like 2-3%. But to get to a round number, let’s say another 2.125 Billion on the overly safe side. That gets us to 7 Billion people who wrote or typed out some form of language.

Figure life at 70 years across all ages. Again, optimistic. 60 years of consistent writing. 333 days a year, to get to 20,000 days of writing our little minds out. How many words per day? 250 is considered 1 page of text by most. And that sounds about average for people of a wide array of human communication. For a grand total of 5,000,000 words in a lifetime.

Multiply by 7,000,000,000 souls and you get 35,000,000,000,000,000 words written in human existence or 35 American quadrillion times a blurb has come out as a word. (Meanwhile, Erin Andrews has graced us with her illustrative presence throughout. Showing a picture can be worth a quadrillion words.)

I may be off in my numbers, or just a crazy sot that added to the garbage pile of useless words in writing a post about essentially nothing.

Just words…that’s all they really were.

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  • Tracy  On January 3, 2008 at 6:53 pm

    That’s a really cool way of looking at words. I really enjoyed your perspective of words. Then, I guess I’m adding to your pile of words already, huh?

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