Did you read the title of that correctly? I know you did! Today’s post is all about words. All about language and some quirks that you may or may not know.
I love words. I love how I can learn new words every single day. I never will run out of learning new words and apparently there are even more new words that are acceptable. According to this CNN article there is now a new Official Scrabble dictionary that has added 5,000 new words including “selfie” and “hashtag”. Now if my Words With Friends games can include those I am in luck!
I love to find little facts and gems that I didn’t know before and that is what today’s post is all about. Maybe you already know some or all of these but maybe, just maybe, you will learn something new today and turn your ordinary day into an extraordinary day!!! Here are some random wordy facts.
- On a QWERTY keyboard, 32 % of keystrokes take place on the middle (home) row, 52% on the upper row and a mere 16% on the bottom row. (Jared Diamond, Discover Magazine, April 1997)
- Counting up from zero, and excluding the word “and”, the first number to contain the letter A is one thousand. (Prospect Research)
- The words “tomato,” “coyote,” “avocado,” and “chocolate” all come from the Aztec language Nahuatl. (Marginal Revolution, February 27, 2006)
- In the Eskimo language Inuktitut, there isa single word that means “I should try not to become an alcoholic”—Iminngernaveersaartunngortussaavunga (The New York Sun, December 28, 2006)
- “Stewardesses” is the longest word typed with only the left hand and “lollipop” with the right. Urbandictionary.com
- There are no words in the English language that rhyme with “orange”, “silver”, “purple” or “month”. (New Scientist, December 18, 2004)
- The word “boredom” did not exist in the English language until after 1750. (Boredom, the Literary History of A State of Mind by Patricia M. Spacks)
- The word “paradise” comes from a Persian word meaning “walled around”. (Fencing Paradise by Richard Mabey)
- The “zip” in “zip code” stands for “zone improvement plan”. (Chicago Tribune, December 2, 2002)
- The collective noun for owls is “parliament”. (Wikipedia)
- “Queueing” is the only word in the English language with 5 consecutive vowels. (Prospect Research)
- The Finnish language has no future tense. (Wikipedia)
- There are no plurals in Chinese. (Wired, December 206)
- The five most used nouns in the English language are “time,” “person,” “year,” “way,” and “day.” (CNN, June 22, 2006)
- The fourteenth most popular search term entered into Google is “Google.” (Time, June 6, 2007)
- By the age of five, children have acquired 85% of the language they will have as adults. (John Bastiani, RSA Lecture)
- Jack Keroauc typed at one hundred words a minute. (The New Yorker, April 9, 2007)
- The condition of being unable to release a dart from one’s hand when throwing is known as dartitis. (Prospect Research)
- There are 823 languages spoken inPapua New Guinea, more than any other country in the world. (Limits of Language by Mikael Parkvall
Do you have any wordy facts to share? Feel free to enlighten me with your wisdom!!! Don’t forget that every comment this month means a 50 cent donation to the Comments for a Cause — Jubilee Partners.
16 CommentsLeave a comment
All fascinating! I adore “the collective name for owls”. Many of the collective names are fascinating. Happy Monday!
I agree about the collective name for owls! Language is just so fun.
I LOVE this. Words are fascinating and I love to find out the origin of words. I have always enjoyed picturing a parliament of owls. The perfect collective term. I also love a murder of crows. Thanks for this fun post! Have a super week.
As a writer you know the value of words and how much they mean. I am not always a fan of history but word history is intriguing.
Some interesting word facts – language is amazing. I studied linguistics in college and was endlessly fascinated with how language developed and changes.
And then there’s us – the bilingual people who mix up languages and make up new words that don’t exist. 😂
I love the bilingual words that are created at times! I mean – it makes sense! Why would you not combine your two languages?
Very interesting! When Marshall was taking typing (keyboarding) in high school, we played a game where we tried to find the longest word typed with only one hand. At the time, his dad and I owned a variety store, and when Marshall was at school one day, I noticed on a box of drinking glasses: “beverageware”. That was the longest either one of us ever realized…and it’s the same number of letters as ‘stewardesses”!
That is a great little fact!!! I love it. I took typing and our kids did keyboarding —exactly. I smiled when I read that line because it made me remember the changes over time. I was a pretty good typist back in the day but I never did that exercise you and Marshall did. I love it!
What a lot of interesting facts about words. I love words, too.
Words are the key to my heart. :-). Well, and chocolate. Have a great day, Audrey.
Fun facts! I can certainly understand why the word boredom didn’t exist until 1750. People were too busy trying to eke out a living existence to be bored. According to Grammerly.com, the longest English word, with 189,819 letters, is the chemical name for a kind of protein found in human beings. I wouldn’t want to learn how to spell that one! 😉
That’s a great fact! Thanks for sharing. 🙂
Love your post.
Thanks for this fun post! I love collective nouns in English. There’s a really fun book called A Charm of Doldfinches and Other Wild Gatherings by Matt Sewell that offers all sorts of animal-based collective nouns. Mandarin Chinese also has a ton of collective nouns, and learning them (or at least my attempts to learn them!) helps to understand worldview and culture.
I’m actually working on a newsletter at the moment about the importance of naming (especially when it comes to poetry), and why we need to think about what language we’ll use to describe pandemic and post-pandemic life; what new words will we need, what words do we need to bury, and what ancient words do we need to reclaim? I’d love to chat with anyone who may be interested in this question (and feel free to connect with me via my website, melanieweldonsoiset [dot] com ! 🙂
**Whoops, I meant to say “Goldfinches.” Please forgive the typo :).
Words can be very intriguing. Thanks for sharing.