You are here

What Was the Vocabulary of Joseph Smith?

TitleWhat Was the Vocabulary of Joseph Smith?
Publication TypeMagazine Article
Year of Publication1951
AuthorsWidtsoe, John A.
MagazineImprovement Era
Issue Number6
Pagination399, 476
Date PublishedJune 1951
KeywordsAuthenticity; Authorship; Book of Mormon Authorship; Book of Mormon Names; Book of Mormon Translation

This article argues that any translation will reflect the vocabulary of the translator, and such was the case with Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. An average “fairly well-educated” person possesses an 8,000 word vocabulary. Joseph Smith as a youth would have had a substantially smaller vocabulary. Interestingly, the Book of Mormon has a total vocabulary (including person and place names) of 3,307 words.