10 interesting facts about English

Author: Kim Jacobs | Last modified on: May 4th, 2016

English LanguageEnglish is one of the most spoken languages in the world. However despite its wide popularity people know very little about the language. Here some facts about English that you will find to be very interesting.

  1. The letter ‘E’ is the most used in the English language. Studies show that every 8th letter is an ‘E’. Also more English words commence with the letter ‘S’ than any other. Example: Man and van services (three ‘Es’ in 17 letters and a word that starts with ‘S’ in a combination of four words).
  2. English is arguably the fastest developing language in the world. A new word is added to the tongue on an estimate of two hours. Also a total of 4.000 new words are added to the English dictionary annually.
  3. The shortest complete phrase in English is ‘I am’. It is often used as a form of positive answer. Example: Are you hungry? I am.
  4. There are numerous tongue twisters in the English language. But all linguistic experts agree that the hardest to pronounce is “Sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick”. It is this due to the close sounds that all the words have.
  5. There is a total of nine ways to pronounce ‘ough’ in English and the following sentence contains all of them: A rough-coated, dough-face, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough, after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed.
  6. The sound ‘ee’ can be spelled in seven different ways.
  7. Phrases that contain all the letters from the English alphabet are known as pangrams. There are two types of pangrams, such that used more than 26 letters. Example: How quickly daft jumping zebras vex. And perfect pangrams which are formed by using only the 26 letters of the alphabet.
  8. ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ is a synonym for ‘fantastic’ and is a word which was initially invented for the 1964 movie “Marry Popping” which starred Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke. It was later added to the English dictionary and since then many people wrongly believe that it is the longest word in English. However, the truth is that ‘Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis’ a word that described as lung sickness is the longest word in English.
  9. ‘I” isn’t only the shortest word in English but also one of the oldest along with words such as ‘we’, ‘two’ and ‘three’. ‘I’ is also the most commonly used word during discussions. Example: I was moving and I decided to hire man and van services, so that I can spare myself from the heavy lifting (‘I’ is used three times in a single sentence).
  10. Due to the non-stop development of the language, English has numerous “ghost words” that feature in the dictionary but mean nothing. These words have came into existence due to printing errors that misspell a particular word and therefore trick people into assuming that it is a real word. Examples: Dord, phantomnation, kime, abacot, feamyng, hsigo and etc.

About the Author:

Kim Jacobs is a removals coordinator with over 11 years of experience as part of the Get man and van team and other firms in the home and office relocation industry in London. Before joining our company, Kim has worked in various logistical and transportation companies and institutions such as Transport for London, The Removals Ombudsman, and has coordinated moving projects with some of the biggest suppliers of various goods such as IKEA, HomeBase, Amazon, Sainsbury's and others. While working as a chief removals coordinator, Kim also enjoys sharing her expertise with others through writing in our blog.

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