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Did You Know?

bulletThere are many different versions of English around the world: British English, Scottish English, Irish English, American English, Canadian English, English of the Caribbean, English in Africa, English in Asia, Creoles and Pidgins, and Australian English are just a few.
bulletDespite the fact the most Americans speak English, it is not the official language of the U.S. - it does not actually have one, but classes itself as a 'multi-lingual' nation.
bulletThe average English-speaking person uses the same 400 words 80% of the time. That means that over 400,000 other words in most standard English Dictionaries often remain unused.
bulletAlthough the English alphabet has only 26 letters, the English language has around 44 sounds. These 26 letters are used to represent the 44 sounds in more than 650 different ways.

ENGLISH IS A CRAZY LANGUAGE

Let's face it -- English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France. Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat.

We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce and hammers don't ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth beeth? One goose, two geese. So one moose, two meese? And why one index but two indices?

Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend, that you comb through annals of history but not a single annal? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? If you wrote a letter, perhaps you bote your tongue?

Sometimes I think all English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what kind of language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell? Park on driveways and drive on parkways?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and wise guy are opposites? How can overlook and oversee be opposites, while quite a lot and quite a few are alike? How can the weather be hot as hell one day and cold as hell another?

Have you noticed that we talk about certain things only when they are absent? Have you ever seen a horseful carriage or a strapful gown? Met a sung hero or experienced requited love? Have you ever run into someone who was combobulated, gruntled, ruly or peccable? And where are all those people who ARE spring chickens or who would ACTUALLY hurt a fly?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which an alarm clock goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race (which, of course, isn't a race at all). That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible. And why, when I wind up my watch, I start it, but when I wind up this essay, I end it.

Strange but true…

Not a lot of people know that:

In English, the most commonly used letter of the alphabet is e.
The letter used most frequently at the end of words is also
e.
The letter used most frequently at the beginning of words is
s.
The most common pairing of letters in English words is
er.
The longest word in the English language is
pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis, which is a medical condition caused by volcanic dust.

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