Interesting Facts about English
in no particular order…
- The most common letter in English is “e”.
- The most common vowel in English is “e”, followed by “a”.
- The most common consonant in English is “r”, followed by “t”.
- Every syllable in English must have a vowel (sound). Not all syllables have consonants.
- Only two English words in current use end in “-gry”. They are “angry” and “hungry”.
- The word “bookkeeper” (along with its associate “bookkeeping”) is the only unhyphenated English word with three consecutive double letters. Other such words, like “sweet-toothed”, require a hyphen to be readily readable.
- The word “triskaidekaphobia” means “extreme fear of the number 13”. This superstition is related to “paraskevidekatriaphobia”, which means “fear of Friday the 13th”.
- More English words begin with the letter “s” than with any other letter.
- A preposition is always followed by a noun (ie noun, proper noun, pronoun, noun group, gerund).
- The word “uncopyrightable” is the longest English word in normal use that contains no letter more than once.
- A sentence that contains all 26 letters of the alphabet is called a “pangram”.
- The following sentence contains all 26 letters of the alphabet: “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” This sentence is often used to test typewriters or keyboards.
- 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” 🙂
- A word formed by joining together parts of existing words is called a “blend” (or, less commonly, a “portmanteau word”). Many new words enter the English language in this way. Examples are “brunch” (breakfast + lunch); “motel” (motorcar + hotel); and “guesstimate” (guess + estimate). Note that blends are not the same as compounds or compound nouns, which form when two whole words join together, for example: website, blackboard, darkroom.
- The word “alphabet” comes from the first two letters of the Greek alphabet: alpha, bēta.