Fun facts about the English Language

English is Interesting!

Do you have contradictory feelings about English? On one hand, you love watching English movies; on the other hand, you are not able to understand it because of tough grammar or never-ending vocabulary?

Most online spoken English classes simply chase you with rote learning and this makes learning English an unnecessarily confusing or loathsome experience.

English is complicated yet one of the most beautiful languages that everyone should guard among themselves. And not to forget, English is one of the most common languages spoken in various parts of the world. English is an extraordinary language influenced by different cultures and languages, such as Latin, French, Dutch, and Afrikaans.

In the Oxford English Dictionary, there are more than 600,000 entries. Isn’t it interesting? In this blog, you’ll find many such fascinating facts! Let’s find out…

Interesting facts about the English language:

  • 1) Have you heard of the word, ‘Enneacontakaienneagon’?
  • Believe it or not, ‘Enneacontakaienneagon’ is literally a word in the English language. The meaning of this word is a shape with ninety-nine sides.
  • 2) “I”-The shortest and most frequently used word
  • We use “I” frequently in our conversations, sometimes unknowingly. Yes, it is one of the oldest and commonly used word in English conversations.
  • 3) Addition of new words in Dictionary
  • After every two hours, you’ll find a new word added to the dictionary and around 4,000 new words are added every year. William Shakespeare, an English playwright, poet, and actor, invented more than 1,700 words that were added to the English language. These include Break the Ice (to break the silence by saying something), Addicted (fully dependent on something) and the list goes on. The native English speakers still use these words in their regular speech.
  • 4) What are Crutch Words?
  • These are the words that we use very often but hold no meaning or value to a sentence. The words such as basically, actually, anyways are a few words which are commonly used as crutch words.
  • 5) Ambigrams and Palindromes
  • When viewed upside down, the word ‘SWIMS’ reads the same. These words are known as Ambigrams. On the other hand, Palindromes are words or phrases that read the same when reading from left-to-right or right-to-left.
  • 6) Some words DO NOT RHYME at all
  • Month, orange, silver, and purple do not rhyme with any other word. Isn’t it peculiar?
  • 7) Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious- Not the Longest Word
  • This word became prominent by the movie Mary Poppins and thereafter, was a part of the English dictionary. But this is not the longest word used in English. The word, “Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis” is the longest one (45 letters long) which is a type of lung disease caused by inhaling ash and dust.
  • 8) Specialty of Pangrams
  • Pangrams are sentences that consist of all 26 letters of the English language. The commonly used pangram is- A quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.
  • 9) The Trending Hashtag Symbol- #
  • # Symbol was firstly used in telephone keypads and was called “octothorpe”. Now the symbol is used in social media widely to identify specific things.
  • 10) Suffix “-gry” has only 2 words
  • Hungry and Angry are the two words that end in ‘–gry’ in modern English.
  • 11) The Mystery of Ghost Words
  • One of the words, “Dord” was there in the dictionary from 1932- 1940 but didn’t mean anything. It was thus termed as “ghost words”.
  • 12) Correct order of Vowels
  • “Facetious” and “Abstemious” are the only two words in English that contain all the vowels in the right order.
  • 13) No Vowel Word
  • ‘Rhythm’ is the longest word without a vowel. I am sure you never realized that. Did you?
  • 14) Aware of Portmanteaus?
  • These are the words which are made from combining and shortening two words such as brunch, motel and the list goes on. “Brunch” combines the words "breakfast" and "lunch" while "motel," combines the words "motor" and "hotel”.
  • 15) English is NOT THE official language of the US
  • Strange, isn’t it? English is the official language of 58 countries but it is not the official language of the US. Moreover, the United States does not have any official language. But, the most common language spoken by approximately 78% of the U.S. population is English. Studies reveal that around 30% of the 18th century population of the US spoke in German or Dutch.

The TV series or the movies and the majority of entertainment is originally produced in English. English has a lot of commonalities with German and Dutch, which means after learning English, you can master other languages too. Apart from these facts, there are numerous and interesting ways to practice English.

Fun ways to learn English:

As an online English tutor, these are my top three recommendations!

  • Learning by Watching- You can watch Netflix, Prime or any other YouTube videos you like. First, you can start with subtitles to improve your vocabulary and then when you are able to comprehend most of it, you can stop using subtitles. You can develop not only your speaking skills but also your listening skills with a little practice. Keep on jotting down the new words, try to repeat the sentences until you get the pronunciation correct. This way, you will achieve two things- learn English while watching that you love! You’ll find a notable improvement in your speaking skills. This will also help you in learning new phrases, accents and proper usage of certain words.
  • Learning by Doing- Studies reveal that adults are more likely to retain the information that they experienced through entertainment. Both your comprehensive and conversation skills can be driven to the next level by playing games. Solving crosswords, scramble and other word games will surely help enhance your vocabulary more effectively.
  • Learning through Songs- When you want to learn something, try connecting it with your interests. Music is soulful and if you love listening to music, why not learn through it? Songs can be a fun way to learn and to improve in vocabulary, listening and speaking skills.

As an online English speaking course in India, we see students setting unreasonable goals then always end in disappointment. Learning a language doesn’t have to be a monotonous and stressful practice. You can always do it in a fun and a relaxing way. Whether you love the English language or not, you will agree with me on this that English has always something intriguing and interesting to offer.

There is no one who is hundred percent fluent in English. But we can always try and learn something new!

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