5 Fun Facts About English Language

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Drawing on my fine command of the English language, I said nothing

-Robert Benchley


As English language trainers, we get so caught up in our daily hustle bustle of ‘was’ and ‘is’, and a host of other grammar rules, that seldom do we get a chance to dwell on other aspects of the language.

Recently, we came across some rather interesting information, and decided to search for some ‘Fun facts about English language’.

Curious much? Read on to know what we found out:

The Little Tittle

The alphabets ‘i’ and ‘j’ are incomplete without the dot on top, and while we’ve always referred to it as the little dot, grammarians have coined a name for it – the Tittle. The Tittle was originally a larger mark, first appearing in Latin manuscripts, but was shortened when Roman-style typefaces were introduced.

Of Pangrams and Ghost Words

You may have come across this sentence – ‘the quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog‘. But do you know what makes it so special? It uses all 26 alphabets, and is referred to as a pangram.

Ghost words are those that words that came into existence due to printing errors, and continue to exist in certain dictionaries. ‘Dord’ is an example of this anomaly.

What’s the fuss about S and E?

This is an easy one. E is the most common letter used in English, and S is the most widely used alphabet. More words begin with S than any other letter of the alphabet. She sells sea shells….Hmm, now I get it!

Selfie, YOLO, and Tech-savvy

These were some of the mainstream words which were added to the Oxford dictionary a few years ago. Approximately one new word is added to the English language every two hours and around 4,000 words are added to the English dictionary every year. Ready to brush up your vocabulary?

The words- Set, Time, and Pronunciation

The word set has the highest number of definitions listed in the dictionary. Time is the most commonly used noun, and pronunciation is the most mispronounced word.

And the bonus fact –

Mochas are named after a port in Yemen, from where coffee was exported to Europe in the 18th century.

On that note, take a coffee break while you ponder these fun facts about English Language!

EnglishMate is a chain of English Speaking Institutes by Hindustan Times that offers a range of courses to help you speak better English and get smarter.

Published on Aug. 7, 2018 by EnglishMate
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