1 巻 (1995) p. 22-29
This article presents a frequency list of words used in 350 closed- captioned movies. The list reveals that dictionaries often omit or inadequately describe informal words, even though they are used in many movies. For example, the word "mm- hmm" is used in 201 movies, but it is not included in two major English-Japanese dictionaries that I consulted. Furthermore, one dictionary classifies "yeah" and "uh- huh," which are very frequently used in the movies, into the vocabulary group of the lowest importance. On the other hand, "yep" belongs to a more important group, although the word is used less frequently than "yeah" and "uh-huh." The degree of importance that the dictionaries assign to such words does not reflect their frequencies in the movies. This article also investigates the difference between words used frequently in the movies and those contained in the JACET 4000 Basic Word, an authentic list which identifies the words that Japanese students should be able to recognize by the sophomore year of college. The comparison suggests that JACET's list also ignores informal English lexical items which are often used in the movies.