14 Interesting Facts Related to the English Language
Below are 14 interesting facts related to the English language.
1. Learn English with a thousand words
It is estimated that the English language has more than one million words. However, just over a third, about 350,000, are officially recognized in the dictionaries, although the most used words on a daily basis are approximately 2,800, and within these, there are 400 that are used 80% of the time.
2. An old world that is popular in the modern times
The bad word "shit" that is so frequently heard is, in fact, one of the oldest words in the English language and was originally used exclusively to designate the liquid depositions of cattle. The word has Germanic and Scandinavian roots and documents have been found certifying its use since 1086.
3. Which language is more similar to English?
The languages that have similarity in vocabulary and grammar with English is the Flemish language, spoken in part of France, the Netherlands and Belgium.
4. Up to a thousand without using the letter "a"
Although it seems impossible, you can count in English from 0 to 999 without using the letter "a".
5. The dehumanization of the term computer
The word "computer" has been used since long before the advent of computers. Since the early seventeenth century was used to refer to people, in 1869 the term began to be used to talk about machines and since 1946 the term was used to designate any electronic device.
6. The word P45
There is a word in the English language that is as large as this "pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis". This term of 45 letters, the longest in the English language, is used to define a lung disease caused by the inhalation of sand or ashes. Although in the dictionary it is registered as such, in the medical field, it is usually abbreviated as P45.
7. Terms that lack meaning
In 1932 the word "Dord" could be found in the English dictionary. A word that had no meaning, since its inclusion was due to a printing error. The chemist Austin Paterson proposed the inscription of the letter "D" to refer to "density", and referred to the term in uppercase and lowercase, that is, "D or d". It is believed that there was a slip on one of the printing plates, and this caused the term to be written without spaces. The error was maintained for 8 years until it was reviewed by an editor.
8. What is a Crutch word in the English Language?
There is a term to refer to words like "honestly", "basically", "like" or "actually", these words are in many cases considered "crutch words”, or phrases. In most cases, they do not add any value to the phrase as a whole and can be dispensed with without altering the meaning.
9. A language in constant evolution
There is no doubt that English has thousands of loans from other languages, but linguists consider that the languages that make the greatest contributions are Old Norse, Anglo-Norman and an old German dialect are spoken in the north. The Old English was very different from today, to the extent that any text written in that language before the XIV century would be incomprehensible even to a native speaker.
10. A language for 'the plea'
Until 1362 the official language in the courts of England was French. Until the approval of the Pleading in English Act this was the only language that could be used in legal matters, and even after the approval of this act, a kind of bilingualism continued for decades.
11. Guinness Prize for the tongue twister most difficult to pronounce
You can test your English level with the following tongue twister: "sixth sick sheik's sixth sheep's sick". The expression is recorded in the Guinness book of records as the most difficult to pronounce, even for native speakers, and is followed by others such as "Six thick thistle sticks. Six thick thistles stick” and “The seething seas ceaseth and twiceth the seething seas sufficeth us”
12. William Shakespeare, the inventor of words
William Shakespeare is considered by many reasons the father of English literature. His contributions to this language are enormous, from helping to standardize grammar to the use of hendecasyllabic verses. However, the introduction of new terms is the most remarkable aspect. According to a study conducted by English literature professor Warren King, Shakespeare used 17,677 words in his works, of which 1,700 were first used by the author. Most of these new terms were borrowings from other languages, although there were also adaptations of terms used in classical literature.
13. An economic sector on the rise
There are more than 4,000 registered academies or schools for the teaching of foreign languages, a thousand more than three years ago, and that almost three-quarters of the courses requested are of English language. To these must be added an incalculable number of centres and individuals not registered, and it is estimated that the turnover of this sector exceeds 1.2 billion pounds in the region of the UK alone.
14. Did you know what a pangram is?
A pangram is an expression in which all the letters of the alphabet are used. In the Englishlanguage, the best-known pangram is "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog", although the one that makes a more economical use of the alphabet is "Pack my box with five dozen liquor jugs".