Surprising Facts You didn’t know about English Language
How long would it take you to say the longest word in English? Which is the most used English word? These are just some of the questions we answer in this post as we look at some fun facts about the English Language!
Interesting Facts about English Language
Time to pronounce the largest word: Just 3.5 hours!
Titin is the largest protein in the human body. To understand how large, just recall some of the most complex organic compounds you studied in high school chemistry and then compare with Titin’s chemical formula: C169,719 H270,464 N45,688 O52,237 S911! No match, eh? While the protein is commonly known as titin, its chemical name (IUPAC name) contains a whopping 189,819 letters! This makes it the largest word in English (or any other language for that matter) and just requires a mere 3.5 hours to say it end-to-end! If you think this is a bluff, here’s the complete name and here’s a video of someone who was bold enough to attempt pronouncing the entire word. However, chemical names are not really considered English words and hence, not included in any dictionary.
Longest word in the dictionary
Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis is the longest English word to be published in a dictionary. The 45-letter word was invented to be the longest word by the National Puzzlers’ League in the 1930s. The word refers to a lung disease caused by inhalation of fine ash and silica dust found in volcanoes. In simpler terms, this disease is known as silicosis.
Most used word
The word “The” is the most used word in the English language. Categorized as a definite article in English, it beats other words such as ‘be’, ‘to’, ‘of’ and ‘and’ in the list of most frequently used words in English. As a matter of fact, the first 100 most used words make up about 50% of all written English material!
Most number of consecutive vowels
At first glance, there seems nothing noteworthy about the word ‘queueing’. However, ‘Queueing’ is recognized as the word with the most consecutive vowels. The present participle of queue, queueing has 5 consecutive vowels. The Guinness Book of World Records, though, shows “Euouae” as the word with most consecutive vowels (6) and also the longest word comprising of nothing but vowels. However, since “Euouae” is a Latin mnemonic, it is unclear yet whether it should count as an English word.
Longest word without a vowel
Rhythms is the longest English word without any of the conventional vowels (a,e,i,o,u). While ‘rhythms’ holds this current distinction, the now-obsolete word ‘symphysy’ (meaning fusion of two bodies) is the longest such word that appeared in Modern English.
Longest word without any repeated letters
There’s a high chance that you may never have heard of the word ‘subdermatoglyphic’. However, in the context of English language, it occupies a unique position. The 17-letter word, subdermatoglyphic, is the longest English isogram (a word without any repeated letters). It refers to the layer of skin beneath the fingertips. At a close second are the 15-letter words Uncopyrightable and Dermatoglyphics (the study of skin markings).
Most used letter
The letter ‘E’ is the most used letter in English and accounts for 11% of the entire English Language. ‘A’ and ‘R’ are a fairly distant second and third respectively. ‘E’ is 56 times more used than ‘Q’, which is the least used letter. However, when it comes to beginning of words, more words begin with ‘S’ than any other letter (the least being ‘X’).
Longest word with letters in Alphabetical order
There are several 6-letter words that have their letters in alphabetical order including ‘abhors’, ‘almost’, ‘begins’ and ‘biopsy’. But the word that takes the cake when it comes to the longest is the 8-letter word, Aegilops. It refers to a genus of grass generally known as goatgrass.