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18 Surprising And Odd Things You Never Knew About The English Language

What even is this crazy tongue we speak?

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3. That might be because the ten most common lemmas (base forms of a word) in English make up 25% of all words used.


Those lemmas are the, be, to, of, and, a, in, that, have, and I.

Seriously, just try to write a paragraph that doesn't contain any form of those words.

4. Words have lifespans that can range from fewer than 1,000 years up to 20,000 years.


A word like "throw" is expected to have a lifespan of about 1,000 years, while words like "I" and "who" are likely to reach the 20,000 year mark.

12. The longest word containing no repeating letters, including every vowel, is "uncopyrightable," at 15 letters.

If you don't require the word to have one of every vowel, "dermatoglyphics," meaning "the study of skin markings," is also 15 letters long.

16. In 1934, Webster's released a dictionary accidentally containing a made-up word - "dord" - that wasn't caught until 1939.

And it actually remained in Webster's dictionaries until 1947. So...good work fixing that mistake, guys.

18. Lexicographer Paul Dickson entered the Guinness Book of World Records by collecting 2,964 synonyms for the word "drunk," the most synonyms collected for any one term.

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