What's a Word?

By simply asking questions, Jesse Sheidlower, the editor at large of the Oxford English Dictionary, shows the complexity in defining how many words English encompasses. For example,

If run is a verb, is the noun run another word? What about the inflected forms ran, runs, and running? What about words with run as a base, such as runner and runnable and runoff and runway? Are compounds, such as man-bites-dog, man-child, man-eater, manhandle, man-hour, man of God, man's man, and men in black, to be counted once or many times?

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