English Language Facts 4
I haven't made an English Language Fact posts in a while, as I decided to do some more research on my facts and it takes time in order to do some research. If you find anything wrong with these facts, please feel free to correct! Thank you! Have fun reading! :)
An English person from 2015 could not understand an English person from 1300 without using a translator.
The equivalents of the English saying That's Greek to me are This appears to be Spanish (German) This is Chinese to me (Dutch), It's German to me (Philippines), It's Hebrew (Finnish), It's Chinese to me (Hebrew), Sounds like Mars language/These are chicken intestines. (China) See here
Old English is unreadable for the average reader.
Shakespeare invented over 1,700 words that we use today. See here
Before the English speaking world was exposed to the fruit, the color orange was referred to as geoluhread which is Old English for red-yellow. See here
Switching letters is called spoonerism. For example, saying jag of Flapan, instead of flag of Japan. See here
The proper name for speaking through clenched teeth is dentiloquy. See here
The sentence This sentence contains thirty-six letters. contains 36 letters.
The words a, and, be, have, he, I, in, of, that, the, and to make up 25% of all written English.
'⸮' is a punctuation mark that was first proposed in the 1580s to denote sarcasm or irony. See here
Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch procejt at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosnt mttaer waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. This is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter.
Niblings is the plural, gender-neutral term for nieces and nephews. See here
Cluck-and-grunt was 1930s slang for ham and eggs. See here
The opposite of postpone is prepone, meaning to bring something forward in time. See here
Flea market comes from the French marché aux puces a name orginally given to a market in Paris which specialized in shabby second-hand goods of the kind that might contain fleas. The earliest English use that the 20-volume Oxford English Dictionary has found dates from 1922. See here
The onion is named after the Latin word
uniomeaning large pearl. See here
The dab of toothpaste you squeeze onto your toothbrush is called a
nurdle. See here
Google, Meerriam-Webster, and Macmillan added an additional definition for the word
literally. Now it can indicate emphasis when a given situation is not literally true. I literally died of embarrassment, is now a valid sentence, despite the fact that embarrassment can't kill you.
The word impossible dropped in use by 50% over the course of the 20th century.
The first purely English alphabetical dictionary was called A Table Alphabeticall, and was written by English schoolteacher Robert Cawdrey in 1604.
The word gorilla comes from a Greek word that means a tribe of hairy women. See here
The proper name for taking your shoes off is discalceation.
If you wrote out every number in the standard English counting system (one, two, three, four) in alphabetical order, no matter how high you counted the first number would always be eight, the second would always be eight billion
The pep of pep talk is an abbreviation of pepper.
Prepone is used by many Indian speakers as the opposite of postpone. But, I am not sure if it is considered correct. Most English teachers advocate against using it.
Interesting that English teachers advocate against it. If it's an English word, I think we should be able to use it. I always used to wonder if there was an opposite for postpone.
I think, I hope I'm a native English speaker? xD
Yes, I'd never heard if it either. I want to try using it now. :)
I don't reject regionalism as that adds character to the language. But, some words get added due to misconceptions and I believe prepone is one such case. In normal correspondence, I use advance.
I for sure thought that niblings was going to be some sort of small snack for when you just can't make it until your next meal. Given that it's actually a gender-inclusive word for nieces and nephews, what an awkward mistake that could have been!
It does sound like it could be a snack word.
Oh, I had a few niblings before lunch. ;)
I literally died of embarrassment, is now a valid sentence, despite the fact that embarrassment can't kill you.
Interesting. In Russian it is also possible to say "Я буквально (literally) умираю от стыда".
I think it's a little sad that this word got misused so much that it was decided to make a secondary definition.
So you would be able to say the same exact sentence in Russian?
Буквально - literally, умирать - die, стыд - shame
Я буквально умираю от стыда - "I am literally dying of shame". It is quite natural sentense in Russian.
I literally died of embarrassment - Я буквально умирал(а) от смущения. Hm... Why not? I think it is also possible.
You act as if it is only within the past decade that this word has been "misused". You -are- aware that this secondary definition was used at least as far back as either Dickens or Shakespeare, yes?
No actually, I was not aware, but thank you for informing me.
And sorry for replying so late. :)
Haha. I can't even understand English from the 1500s very well. The spelling is too irregular!
As a native speaker of English, thank god for standardized spelling. Even if it makes no sense to foreigners. (Even native speakers have problems spelling words! I have seen high school students spell like third graders! So don't worry!)
I think you meant procejt in stead of procejit. :-D
I stumbled over the word. Which indicates that it's true, you can jumble the letters in a word! :-)
I probably did, thanks for pointing that out.
As a person who loves words spelled correctly, it was especially hard for me to type that paragraph in correctly. :)
On a side note, I have been wondering if us being able to read a text scrambled like that, also is valid for people with dislexia. Isn't this exactly what their problem is, not being able to see all the letters in a word as a whole?