A new word is added to the English language every 98 minutes, says the Global Language Monitor, a descendant of yourDictionary.com. (Ironically, the group's "about" page has "dictionary" misspelled as "dictioanry" in one place.) According to the Global Language Monitor's best estimate, the millionth English word will be coined sometime next April. However, the Global Language Monitor is a bit looser with its acceptance of new words than most dictionaries. For example, unabridged dictionaries include about 600,000 words, compared to the 900,000 tracked thus far by the Global Language Monitor. From Smithsonian:
"We went back to the Middle English and saw that the definition of a word was 'a thought spoken,'" said Paul JJ Payack, president and chief word analyst at the Monitor, "which means if I say a word, and you understand me, it's a real word."
Payack counts staycation, Facebook and Wikipedia as words. But he also follows some of the old rules. For example, words that are both noun and verb, such as "water" are counted only once. He doesn't count all the names there are for chemicals, because there are hundreds of thousands.
Once the Monitor identifies a word, it tracks it over time, watching to see where the word appears. Based on that measurement, they decide if the word has "momentum," basically, whether it's becoming more popular or if it's a one-hit wonder of the linguistic world.
At first glance, this seems a lot like a dictionary's system.
"It's the same as the old [method], just recognizing the new reality," Payack said. The Monitor's method gives a lot more weight to online citations.