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Interesting Facts about English

  • Did you know that English is the most widespread language in the world and is more widely spoken and written than any other language?

  • Did you know that over 400 million people use the English vocabulary as a mother tongue, only surpassed in numbers, but not in distribution by speakers of the many varieties of Chinese?

  • Did you know that over 700 million people, speak English, as a foreign language?

  • Did you know that of all the world's languages (over 2,700) English is arguably the richest in vocabulary; and that the Oxford English Dictionary lists about 500,000 words, and a further half-million technical and scientific terms remain uncatalogued?

  • Did you know that three-quarters of the world's mail, telexes and cables are in English?

  • Did you know that the main language used throughout the world on the internet is English?

  • Did you know that more than half of the world's technical and scientific periodicals are in English?

  • Did you know that English is the medium for 80% of the information stored in the world's computers?

  • Did you know that English is the language of navigation, aviation and of Christianity; it is the ecumenical language of the World Council of Churches?

  •  Did you know that 5 of the largest broadcasting companies in the world (CBS, NBC, ABC, BBC and CBC) transmit in English, reaching millions and millions of people all over the world?

  • English is used as an official or semi-official language in over 60 countries.

  • English is used in 85% of the world's organizations.

  • While English is the dominant language on the Web (40%), the presence of other languages is growing.

  • Over two-thirds of the world's scientists write in English.

  • Over 80% of all the information stored electronically around the world is in English.

  • English radio programmes are received by over 150 million people in 120 countries.

  • 50 million children study English as a foreign language at primary schools around the world.

  • At secondary level they are joined by another 80 million children.

  • Around the globe English is the main language of books, newspapers, airports and air-traffic control, advertising, business, medicine, technology, diplomacy, sports, pop music, and academic conferences.

  • More than two-thirds of the world's mail is written in English.

16 Word Facts
The longest one-syllable words in the English language are "screeched" and "strengths".

No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, and purple.
"I am." is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.

The word "set" has more definitions than any other word in the English language.
"Underground" is the only word in the English language that begins and ends with the letters "und."

There are only four words in the English language which end in "-dous": tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.

The longest word in the English language, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is: pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis. The only other word with the same amount of letters is pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconioses, its plural.

The 'y' in signs reading "ye olde.." is properly pronounced with a 'th' sound, not 'y'. The "th" sound does not exist in Latin, so ancient Roman occupied (present day) England use the rune "thorn" to represent "th" sounds. With the advent of the printing press the character from the Roman alphabet which closest resembled thorn was the lower case "y".

The dot over the letter 'i' is called a tittle.

"Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters "mt".
TYPEWRITER is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of the keyboard.

"Stewardesses" is the longest word that is typed with only the left hand.

The combination "ough" can be pronounced in nine different ways. The following s entence contains them all: "A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed."

The only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is uncopyrightable.

Facetious and abstemious contain all the vowels in the correct order, as does arsenious, meaning "containing arsenic."

There is a seven letter word in the English language that contains ten words without rearranging any of its letters, "therein": the, there, he, in, rein, her, here, ere, therein, herein.


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