Almost 1 billion people speak English as a first or second language, which makes it the second most-spoken language after Mandarin. It is as fascinating as it is popular with its own history and quirks. Learners of English work hard on grammar, vocabulary and other theoretical aspects and often forget to enjoy English’s most entertaining side. To help with this task, our Director of Studies Marianne compiled a list of some fun and interesting facts about this amazing language.
Hey, English speaker! Congratulations. You speak a language that straddles the globe like nothing before. Compared to other languages, English may seem simple, but that is probably because most people don’t realise it is full of crazy inventions, great inventors, strange words, and needless words! Here is a list of 11 interesting facts:
“Go!” is the shortest grammatically correct sentence in English.
A pangram sentence is one that contains every letter in the language.
For example, the sentence “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” is pangram.
About 4,000 words are added to the dictionary each year.
A few of the 2018 words include, adorbs, binge-watch, cray, humblebrag, mansplain, side boob, and my favourite, Bank of Mum and Dad. It also includes listicle which describes this very listicle you’re reading right now! More words here.
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious (*breath*) is NOT the longest word in English.
This extra long word (that approximately means “fantastic”) was popularized by the movie Mary Poppins and was eventually added to the dictionary. What you probably didn’t know is that there is a word that is longer—yes longer—than this one.
Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis is a type of lung disease caused by inhaling ash and dust. Go ahead and try pronouncing that! I dare you! I double dare you!
The most common adjective used in English is ‘good’.
The most commonly used noun is ‘time’.
The word ‘set’ has the highest number of definitions.
Month, orange, silver, and purple do not rhyme with any other word.
There’s a name for words that we repeat often.
Words we always use even though they add no meaning or value to a sentence are called crutch words. For example, in the sentence “Then I was like, OMG, then like, he went there, and like…” it is pretty obvious that “like” is the crutch word. “Actually,” “honestly,” and “basically” are also commonly used as crutch words.
Shakespeare invented many words, such as birthplace, blushing, undress, torture and many more which you will find here!
The English language will change a lot during your lifetime , like it or not!
Give up grammar sticklers, you’re fighting a losing battle. Languages are living, breathing organisms and when they don’t change, they die or become purely academic like Latin or Ancient Greek.
New words are being coined all the time. If you asked someone twenty years ago whether they had googled the person they had just friended on facebook, they would stare at you blankly.
Vocabulary changes more rapidly than grammar, but even English grammar is evolving. For example, the dative whom is increasingly being replaced by who. Who can you blame? Decades ago, this would have been unthinkable, but doesn’t it look ok now?
Isn’t English wonderful? Why not be part of the English speaking world by taking an English course? Want to know more about our school and the courses then check out our website: www.ttischool.com