History of English

History of English

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The English Language is broken into 4 major components, each representing an important shift in development. The one million word threshold was passed controversially on June 10, 2009 with the official introduction of ‘Web 2.0’. In this chapter we review what cultures and individuals had the biggest impact on the language we use today.

Interesting quirks and facts about the English Language

Have you ever wondered why the English computer keyboard is set out in the way it is instead of in alphabetical order? The reason for this is on early typewriters, the keys needed to be arranged in a certain way so that the mechanical rods which held the letters did not clash too much and jam. The letters needed to be separated so that the ones which were most commonly used were not next to each other.

Unsurprisingly, ‘e’ is the most commonly used letter in the English language: as many as one eighth of all written letters is the letter ‘e’. Maybe a little more surprisingly is the fact that more letters begin with the letter ’s’ than any other in the alphabet.

A good teaching tool for writing and speaking exercises is using the following sentence: “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” as it contains all of the letters of the alphabet. In addition, the longest English word that can be spelled without repeating any letters is “uncopyrightable”. The following sentence contains seven different spellings of the sound “ee”: ‘He believed Caesar could see people seizing the seas’

There is no word in the English language that rhymes with month, orange, silver or purple. ‘Queueing’ is the only word with five consecutive vowels (five vowels in a row). This is a great word to use when you play hangman!

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