11 Cool Facts About the English Language

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  1. No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, or purple.
  2. The "sixth sick sheik's sixth sheep's sick" is said to be the
    toughest tongue twister in the English language.
  3. "Go," is the shortest complete sentence in the English language.
  4. The phrase "rule of thumb" is derived from an old English law which stated that you couldn't beat your wife with anything wider than your thumb.
  5. The term "the whole 9 yards" came from WWII fighter pilots in the South Pacific. When arming their airplanes on the ground, the .50 caliber machine gun ammo belts measured exactly 27 feet, before being loaded into the fuselage. If the pilots fired all their ammo at a target, it got "the whole 9 yards."
  6. There are only four words in the English language which end in "-dous": tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.
  7. The word "testify" is based on the Ancient Roman practice of making men swear on their testicles when making a statement in court.
  8. In England in the 1880s, "pants" was considered a dirty word.
  9. According to many language experts, the most difficult kind of phrase to create is a palindrome, a sentence or group of sentences that reads the same backward and forward. A few examples:

    Red rum, sir, is murder.

    Ma is as selfless as I am.

    Nurse, I spy gypsies. Run!

    A man, a plan, a canal – Panama.

    He lived as a devil, eh?

  10. The dot that appears over the letter i is called a "tittle."
  11. If you were to spell out numbers, you would you have to go until 1,000 until you would find the letter A.

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