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Interesting Facts You Didn't Know About the English Language

We all know that English is probably one of the hardest language to learn
since it has over 800,000 words. What you might not know about the English
language is where it actually came from and how it came to being the most
popular language used in the world today. A recently published article from the
Online Graduate Programs Blog describes just that plus many other interesting
facts about the English language that you may or may not know about.
English came from Germanic roots: When tribes from what is now Germany
came to the land that would be England, they brought with them the language
that would eventually grow into the dialect we use today.
There are three basic eras to English formation: Old English, which ran
from the 5th through 11th centuries; Middle English, which lasted until the
15th century; and Modern English, which takes us to the present.
English disappeared from written language for a while: The Norman conquest
of England in 1066 established Norman French as the upper-class language and
relegated English to peasants. Churches keep records in French, and novelists
write in that language. Basically, English stops being a written language for
more than 100 years.
English literature didn't reappear until after 1200: Changing political
climates led to the Provisions of Oxford, a constitution-like document written
in English in 1258. By 1300, English as a language had taken hold again.
There are more than 125 English dialects worldwide: Each dialect uses English
in its own way, from pronunciation to construction.
More English speakers reside in the U.S. than anywhere else: More than 250
million Americans speak English (and it's the first language for 215 million of
them), placing it easily at the top of the list. Second place? India, with 125
Dozens of nations have English as their official (or co-official) language:
These include the U.K., Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, and Australia.
The first purely English dictionary appeared in 1604: It was called A Table
Alphabeticall [sic], and it was written by a schoolteacher named Robert
Cawdrey. It was far from a complete guide to the language, and it would take a
century and a half for the next step to be made.

• According to Illinois state law, it is illegal to speak English: The officially

recognized language is "American."
• There is a word in the English language with only one vowel, which
occurs five times: "I n d i v i s i b i l i t y."
• No one knows who came up with "the whole nine yards." The most
widely cited story to explain the origin of this phrase, which means
"completely" or "using everything," is that soldiers in World War II
started using it in reference to firing the entire length of an ammunition
belt on an anti-aircraft gun. Yet there are no written instances of the
phrase before 1962, and many other stories and theories have been
advanced. Everyone knows what it means; no one knows how it got here.
• There's a reason typists practice using "The quick brown fox jumps over
the lazy dog."It contains every letter in the alphabet, making it ideal for
mastering keyboard layout.
• The longest word in the English language: According to the Oxford
English Dictionary, its pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis.
The only other word with the same amount of letters ispneumonoultra-
microscopicsilicovolcanoconioses, its plural.
• The word "queue" is the only word in the English language that is still
pronounced the same way when the last four letters are removed.
• Of all the words in the English language, the word 'set' has the most
• What is called a "French kiss" in the English speaking world is known as
an "English kiss" in France.
• "Go." is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.
• "Almost" is the longest word in the English language with all the letters
in alphabetical order.
• "Rhythm" is the longest English word without a vowel.
• There are only four common words in the English language which end in
"-dous": tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.
• The word "lethologica" describes the state of not being able to remember
the word you want.
• In English, "four" is the only digit that has the same number of letters as
its value.
• Q is the only letter in the alphabet that does not appear in the name of
any of the United States.
• TYPEWRITER, is the longest word that can be made using the letters
only one row of the keyboard.
• Stewardesses is the longest word typed with only the left hand.
• English has the most words: Of all the languages in the world, English has
the largest vocabulary of about 800,000 words. It has been estimated that
the number of actively spoken languages in the world today is about
Which English is better “Oxford” or “American?”

If you're in the United states obviously American would be better for you.
If you're in the UK obviously Oxford is better for you.
If you're Indian and learnt Oxford English growing up you will surely prefer
Oxford.If you were trying to become a rock star or an actor perhaps American
Also in a narrow context perhaps on this forum -
Learning English as a beginner and you are quite sure you will never live or
work in the US or work for a US company in your own country or watch
endless US soaps etc - I would guess you could have a good fundamental case
for arguing Oxford is better simply because it is the mother tongue and may be
easier to "revert back to".
But from a purely linguistic point of view without any geographical or "other"
preferences etc I would opt for Oxford English.

An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less until he
knows absolutely everything about nothing.

At the formal level, the differences are not very significant at all, because
native speakers can sometimes read 50 pages into a book before detecting that
it's not from their own country. When we're reading quickly, we don't always
notice the spelling differences.
The spelling differences between American and British English aren't
increasing that much, and they're not as great as most foreigners think they are.
Foreigners often exaggerate the differences. If you look at what foreigners think
is correct English spelling, and then you check the UK editions of Oxford
dictionaries, you find the foreigners' spelling is often too "British". Besides
spelling, some of the vocabulary and idioms are different. These especially
include the terms for inventions that developed when communication across
the Atlantic was still difficult, such as the names of various basic car parts
(while the names of the newly invented parts are the same in the US and UK).
And of course, the local slang is different. Many foreigners think the British
speak "correct" English and the Americans speak "slang", but the British
sometimes use so much slang that it's hard for anyone but the British to
understand them, or maybe even for anyone from outside their own town.