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Interesting Facts About English

in no particular order...
1. The most common letter in English is "e".
2. The most common vowel in English is "e", followed by "a".
3. The most common consonant in English is "r", followed by "t".
4. Every syllable in English must have a vowel (sound). Not all syllables have consonants.
5. Only two English words in current use end in "gry". They are "angry" and "hungry".
6. The word "boo!!eeper" (along with its associate "boo!!eeping") is the only unhyphenated
English word with three consecutive double letters. Other such words, li!e "sweettoothed",
re"uire a hyphen to be readily readable.
7. The word "tris!aide!aphobia" means "fear of #riday the $%th". &t also means "superstition about
the number thirteen" in general.
8. 'ore English words begin with the letter "s" than with any other letter.
9. ( preposition is always followed by a noun (ie noun, proper noun, pronoun, noun group, gerund).
10. The word "uncopyrightable" is the longest English word in normal use that contains no letter more
than once.
11. ( sentence that contains all )* letters of the alphabet is called a "pangram".
12. The following sentence contains all )* letters of the alphabet+ "The "uic! brown fo, -umps over
the la.y dog." This sentence is often used to test typewriters or !eyboards.
13. The only word in English that ends with the letters "mt" is "dreamt" (which is a variant spelling of
"dreamed") as well of course as "undreamt" +)
14. ( word formed by -oining together parts of e,isting words is called a "blend" (or, less commonly, a
"portmanteau word"). 'any new words enter the English language in this way. E,amples are
"brunch" (brea!fast / lunch)0 "motel" (motorcar / hotel)0 and "guesstimate" (guess / estimate).
Note that blends are not the same as compounds or compound nouns, which form when two
whole words -oin together, for e,ample+ website, blac!board, dar!room.
15. The word "alphabet" comes from the first two letters of the 1ree! alphabet+ alpha, b2ta.
16. The dot over the letter "i" and the letter "-" is called a "superscript dot".
17. &n normal usage, the 3 symbol has several names, for e,ample+ hash, pound sign, number sign.
18. &n English, the 4 symbol is usually called "the at sign" or "the at symbol".
19. &f we place a comma before the word "and" at the end of a list, this is !nown as an "O,ford
comma" or a "serial comma". #or e,ample+ "& drin! coffee, tea, and wine."
20. 5ome words e,ist only in plural form, for e,ample+ glasses (spectacles), binoculars, scissors,
shears, tongs, gallows, trousers, -eans, pants, py-amas (but note that clothing words often
become singular when we use them as modifiers, as in "trouser poc!et").
21. The shortest complete sentence in English is the following. "& am."
22. The word "6hec!mate" in chess comes from the 7ersian phrase "5hah 'at" meaning "the !ing is
23. 8e pronounce the combination "ough" in 9 different ways, as in the following sentence which
contains them all+ "( roughcoated, doughfaced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets
of 5carborough0 after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed."
24. The longest English word without a true vowel (a, e, i, o or u) is "rhythm".
25. The only planet not named after a god is our own, Earth. The others are, in order from the 5un,
'ercury, ;enus, <Earth,= 'ars, >upiter, 5aturn, ?ranus, Neptune.
26. There are only @ English words in common use ending in "dous"+ ha.ardous, horrendous,
stupendous, and tremendous.
27. 8e can find $A words in the Bletter word "therein" without rearranging any of its letters+ the,
there, he, in, rein, her, here, ere, therein, herein.
28. The following sentence contains B identical words in a row and still ma!es sense. "&t is true for all
that that that that that that that refers to is not the same that that that that refers to." (= It is true
for all that, that that "that" which that "that" refers to is not the sae "that" which that "that" refers
&t is true for all that that that that that that that


"that" which
refers to is not the same that that that that refers to.
determiner noun
"that" which (ad-ective) "that"
( sentence with a similar pattern, which may help to unravel the above, is+
It is true, "es#ite e$er%thin& %ou sa%, that this wor" which this wor" refers to is not the sae wor"
which this wor" refers to.
Or, if you insist on being really correct+
It is true, "es#ite e$er%thin& %ou sa%, that this wor" to which this wor" refers is not the sae wor"
to which this wor" refers.
31. The "C8EDTE !eyboard" gains its name from the fact that its first * letter !eys are C, 8, E, D, T
and E. On early typewriters the !eys were arranged in such a way as to minimi.e the clashing of
the mechanical rods that carried the letters.