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Fun facts about the English language

  • There are 360 million people around the world who speak English as a first language. Therefore it is the 3rd most spoken native language after Mandarin and Spanish. However, it is estimated that up to 1 billion more people can speak English as a 2nd language, which means it is the most commonly spoken language

  • Good is the most common adjective used in English

  • On computers around the world, over 80% of the information is stored in English

  • None of Orange, Silver and Purple rhyme with any other word in English

  • Pronunciation in English can often be very challenging for students. “-ough” is especially tricky. The following sentence has 8 different pronunciations of the same letter combination.

  • “A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed.”

  • The English language is constantly evolving. 4000 words are added to the official dictionary every year. Recently added words include Muggle, OMG, Chillax and Bromance.

  • Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis is considered to be the longest word in the offical dictionary. The 45 letter word is a synonym for a disease called Silicosis. There is an ever longer word which contains 189,819 letters. It is the chemical name for “Titin”, the largest known protein. However, it is disputed if it is a real word or not.

  • A pangram is a sentence that contains all 26 letters of the alphabet. The best known example in English of this is: A quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

  • William Shakespeare invented hundreds of new words including: Gossip, Zany, Laughable and Swagger.

English panagram

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