Languages can be as curious and strange as the humans that create them. The English language is no exception. For all of you word-loving nerds, we’ve assembled 10 English facts to test your knowledge and tease your mind.
“The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” Check it out letter by letter and you will find that the entire English alphabet is represented in this simple sentence. These sentences are called pangrams. Here’s another for good measure, “The five boxing wizards jump quickly.”
You’ve done this every day, but probably never new the name for it. There’s an actual name for the action of taking your shoes off: discalceation (noun).
The Right Wright
It’s natural to assume that the wright in playwright is related to the verb write, but you’d be wrong. Write derives from the Old English word writan. The term wright relates to the Old English word wryhta (noun) which means maker or builder.
Purple, silver, orange and month all have one unusual trait in common. Try as hard as you like, you’ll never find a word that rhymes with any of them.
The Oxford dictionary lists 464 meanings for “set”. That makes it the word with the most definitions. Now you are all set to share that set of information on a movie set after everything is set up.
That “fresh rain” scent which happens when rain hits the earth is called petrichor. It’s actually produced by bacteria in the ground; this smell is released into the air when rain hits the earth.
Oldie but a Goodie
A true classic transcends decades and even centuries without showing its age. Would you believe the word “town” is one of the oldest words still used in the English language?
“Hello Everybody, this is your captain speaking.” In 2001 English was declared the official language of international air travel no matter the origin of the pilot and crew.
Yes to S
Surely someone should share the secret. Of all the letters in the entire English alphabet, more words begin with the letter S than any other.
“God be with you” is not a phrase most people use on a daily basis, or do they? Goodbye, bye bye, and byeeee are all derivatives of an old English saying that means just that.
“Interesting English Language Facts And Trivia.” English Express, www.englishexpress.com.sg/articles/interesting-english-language-facts-trivia/.
Halton, Mary. “Petrichor: Why Does Rain Smell So Good?” BBC News, 27 July 2018, https://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-44904298.
Jones, Geraldine. “20 Titbits Of Word Trivia.” Every Word Counts, 20 Oct. 2014, www.everywordcounts.co.uk/20-titbits-word-trivia/.
Jones, Paul Anthony. “100 Random Facts About The English Language.” The Huffington Post, HuffPost News, 9 Dec. 2014, www.huffingtonpost.com/paul-anthony-jones/100-random-language-facts_b_6272224.html.
Kelly, John. “What is the ‘Wright’ in ‘Playwright’.” Oxford Dictionaries, 19 Nov. 2018, https://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2018/11/19/what-is-the-wright-in-playwright/.
“30 Fun Facts about the English Language.” Lingoda, 10 Apr. 2018, www.lingoda.com/en/blog/fun-facts-english-language.
Wilder, Robyn. “21 Delightful Facts About The English Language.” BuzzFeed, 15 Apr. 2014, www.buzzfeed.com/robynwilder/delightful-facts-about-the-english-language.
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