The 12th edition of Chambers dictionary contains over 620,000 words, of which less than 0.002% are of any use to pensioners.
In fact, studies have shown that the average pensioner can function perfectly satisfactorily with as few as 800 words, including 46 swearwords and 16 alternatives for ‘pittance’ to use when describing their pension.
No pensioner has ever been known to use the words ‘taghairm’, ‘montem’, ‘psalterium or ‘myomancy’*. ‘Twerking’, ‘selfie’, ‘reboot’ and ‘defriend’ are just a few of the newer words that no pensioner has yet to include in a meaningful sentence they wish to use. And the last pensioner to use the words ‘dizzard’, ‘fidibus’ and ‘scroyle’ died in 1723.
As well as unnecessary words, there are also words that are unnecessary – as epitomised by almost every TV chef who routinely refers to ‘frying off’, ‘cooking off’, ‘poaching off’ and the like when what they mean is ‘frying’, ‘cooking’ and ‘poaching’. When asked about this by a journalist from the Times Literary Supplement, a well-known Michelin-starred chef reportedly replied
“Why don’t you get off off your high horse and just sod off off, you toffoffee-nosed git.”
*If you have looked up any of these words in a dictionary, you have too much time on your hands and should go back to work immediately.