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Dale’s Daily Data: Fun With Words

Let’s have some fun with words.

One of the reasons English may be the hardest language to learn if you speak a foreign language is that there are so many exceptions and variations.  Why does xylopone begin with an  “x”?  Why does pneumonia begin with a “p”?  Why does phone begin a “ph”?

The letters “ough” can be pronounced eight different ways….just a couple examples…..uff as in tough, off as in cough, oo as in through, o as in thorough, aw as in thought.

The word set has 192 different definitions – the most in the English language.  That’s according to the Oxford English Dictionary.

Rhythms is the longest English word without vowels.

How about pronunciations?  By adding just one letter to some common words they go from a one syllable word to a three syllable word.  Take the word are and add an A – you get area.  Lien….a legal claim on property….add an A at the beginning and lien becomes alien.  Add an o to rode and it becomes rodeo.

In the translations of Hebrew to English – Hanukkah has 16 different spellings beginning with C, H and K.

There are four countries in the world with just one syllable in their names:  Chad, France, Greece and Spain.

The world’s most widely spoken language is Mandarin Chinese.

The language with the largest alphabet is Cambodian with 74 letters.

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