Saturday, May 9, 2009

Fascinating Facts About The English Language

You can check out the original post on Jeffrey Hill's blog:

jeffreyhill.typepad.com/english/2009/05/14-fun-facts-about-the-english-language.html.

If you double click on any of the words you are not familiar with in the text that follows, you will find definitions in a popping-up dictionary provided by answers.com.

1) Of all the words in the English language, set has the most definitions.

2) The longest word in English, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is

pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis,

a chronic lung disease caused by the inhalation of fine silicate or quartz dust.

3) The second longest word in the Oxford English Dictionary is floccinaucinihilipilification or the estimation of something as worthless.

4) Almost is the longest word in English with its letters in alphabetical order.

5) E is the most used letter of the alphabet, accounting for one in every eight in written English.

6) No words rhyme with orange, silver, purple or month.

7) Rhythm and syzygy (an alignment of three celestial bodies) are the longest English words without a vowel.

8) The only 15-letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is uncopyrightable.

9) The combination ough can be pronounced in nine different ways. The following sentence contains them all: A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed.

10) The word robot was created by Czech playwright Karel Capek. It came from the Czecho-Slovak robotovat, which means to work very hard.

11) The youngest letters in the English alphabet are J, V and W.

12) The oldest word is town.

13) There is a seven-letter word in the English language that contains 10 words without rearranging any of its letters therein: the, there, he, in, rein, her, here, ere, therein, herein.

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