15 Interesting Facts about the English Language

21K School · Jul 4, 2023 · 3 min read

Girl with board in hand learning english alphabet

Experts are about to change people’s minds if they believe that pronouncing supercalifragilisticexpialidocious was the only funny thing about English. The English language may appear straightforward and speaker-friendly, yet it has been the site of some incredible inventions and hilarious misinterpretations. Here are some interesting facts about the English language that fascinate anyone or make them want to rip out their hair in fury.

 1. NOT Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Is The Longest Word In The English Language.

Language experts must’ve surprised many of us, especially those who had worked hard to learn how to pronounce Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis, a form of lung illness, tops the list of the longest English words. Attempt to pronounce that now!

2. “Go” Is The Shortest Word In The English Language.

“Go” is a complete sentence rather than just a word. However, the minor non-elliptical statement doesn’t leave anything out and is “I am.” However, even though “Go.” is a complete sentence, it implies “You go,” which is a more significant statement than “I am.”

3. The Letter “I” Is The Shortest In The English Language.

Why does the longest English word deserve to be the center of attention? I suppose the shortest term also merits some praise. “I” is the fastest and the oldest English word, and according to medieval texts, some of the oldest English words are “We,” “Two,” and “Three.”

4. The Term “Crutch Words” Refers To Frequently Used Terms.

In daily talks, we use specific terms more frequently than others. While many of us may frequently use the term “like,” others may use the word “essentially.” The most commonly used crutch words are “really,” “honestly,” and “essentially.” These words are referred to as crutch words.

5. Want To Be A Pilot? Study English.

English is known as the “language of air,” and all pilots must communicate in this language, regardless of nationality.

6. A Young Child Was Referred To As A “Girl.”

The word “girl” was initially used in a non-gender-specific way. Both male and female children were meant by it. Funny, yes?

7. Words In The English Language Have Upside-Down Spellings That Are Identical.

Similar to the phrase “swims.” Such words are referred to as “Ambigrams” and will still have the exact spelling even when turned upside down.

8. James Joyce Created The Word With The Most Extended Palindromic Sequence.

The onomatopoeic word tattarrattat was used by James Joyce to describe a knock at the door in his novel Ulysses (1922). This word is the longest palindromic word in the Oxford English Dictionary. The term “detartrated” appears in the Guinness Book of Records.

9. Life Has No Meaning, But Strange Things Do. Put In Sadboi Hours.

The English line “Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo” is grammatically correct. The fact that “Buffalo” has numerous meanings makes this conceivable.

10. Only 1000 Words Make Up 90% Of The Vocabulary In English Texts.

In contrast, the average English speaker knows 20–30 thousand words. Just not all of them regularly.

11. Finally, The Caterpillar Changed Into A Flutterby.

Welp, Butterfly’s original name was Flutterby.

12. One Of The Most Often Used Letters In The English Language Is “E.”

According to the Concise Oxford English Dictionary, ‘E’ occurs 11.16% of the time, followed by ‘A’ (8.5%), ‘R’ (7.6%), ‘I’ (7.5%), and ‘O’ (7.16%).

13. Grammatical Gender Was Once Present In English.

If anyone has ever attempted to learn Spanish or French, one knows how gendered and complex the syntax is compared to English. However, this was also true for English a few centuries ago.

14. The Living Language That Comes Closest To English Is Frisian.

Frisian is now only spoken in a few isolated areas of the Netherlands and Germany.

15. Every Letter In The Language Is Used In A Pangram Phrase.

A common pangram is “The swift brown fox jumps over the slow dog.”

Another Fascinating Fact

Has anyone ever wondered why the English computer keyboard is organized this way rather than alphabetically? This is because the keys on early typewriters had to be set up in a specific way to prevent jamming caused by excessive contact between the mechanical rods holding the letters. The letters needed to be split such that the most often used ones weren’t placed close together.

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