As it is Monday and now officially winter here in Cape Town, I thought some light reading might be in order. While researching topics and ideas for blogs I came across some very interesting, if somewhat useless, facts about the English Language. You can of course drop these facts into casual conversation with your friends to show off your newly acquired wealth of knowledge.

Firstly, did you know that up to about 450 years ago there was no word for the colour orange in English? Which makes me wonder what the fruit was called up until then, did it even exist? Then again if you consider the fact that we only started speaking recognisable Modern English in the 14th Century, it makes sense that many words have been developed since.

In fact at the moment a new word is added to the English dictionary every two hours. That is twelve words a day! How will a new learner ever keep up I wonder? By attending classes at our school of course. While you are a student at Oxford English Academy you will most definitely learn the word ‘I’ on your first day, which leads to the fact that ‘I’ is the shortest and most commonly used word in the entire language. And the shortest complete sentence you may ask? “I am”.

The oldest word to have lasted throughout all the ages and changes within the language is ‘town’ believe it or not. This word of old Germanic origin is also related to the Dutch word ‘tuin’ which now means garden. However back in the day it meant ‘enclosed piece of land, homestead, village‘.

Another silly, yet fascinating fact is that 11% of the entire English Language consists of just one letter. Can you guess which? The letter ‘e’! However the letter ‘s’ has the honour of starting more words than any other.

Feeling just slightly enriched on this blue Monday? Good! By the way ‘good’ is the most commonly used adjective in this complex, constantly evolving language we call English. Check out these websites for more related articles: