a {text-decoration: none; } En la punta de la lengua: Some useless facts you didn't know about the English language

20 ago. 2014

Some useless facts you didn't know about the English language


  • At least one-sixth of Earth's population speak English as a native or second language. 
  • Thanks to the many invasions in Great Britain and its current position as lingua franca, English is the language with the richest vocabulary (c. 250,000 words).
  • Unlike other languages such as Spanish or French, English does not have an academy in charge of regulating it. 
  • Shit  actually means "cattle diarrhea."
  • The closest languages to English are Frisian and Dutch.
  • English vocabulary is 25% Latin 25% French 25% Germanic Origin 5% Greek and 20% Other languages.
  • Placing a comma before "and" to mark the end of a list (e.g. apples, grapes, and oranges), is known as an Oxford Comma.
  • There is no word that rhymes with purple, orange or month.
  • In contrast to other children who acquire a language with a more transparent orthography such as Spanish or Italian; children who acquire English as their L1 take two more years to learn how to read.
  • The first English dictionary was written in 1755.
  • A couple hundred years ago the letter k was pronounced in words such as "knight" and "know".
  • Ghoti is an invented word that exemplifies irregularities of English pronunciation, by taking the sound /f/ s in enough, the sound /I/ as in women, and the sound /ʃ/ as in nation. Therefore, "fish" might just as well be written "ghoti".
  • The word set is the one that has the most definitions.
  • I, we, two and three; are the most ancient words in English (c. 10,000 years)
  • 9 out of 10 Swedes speak English.
  • Most formal and scientific words crome either from Latin or Greek.
  • Shakespeare invented many of the words he used.
  • The Latin Alphabet has been used since the 9th century, replacing Anglo-Saxon Runes.
  • If we tried to read Old English we wouldn't be able to understand practically anything. 
  • Around 4,000 words are added each year to the dictionary.
  • The sentence, the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog contains all the letters of the alphabet.

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