Archive for the ‘mysteries of english’ Category

October 29th, 2012 - 1:50 pm § in alphabet, etymology, foreign language, japanese, language evolution, mysteries of english, spelling, vocabulary, word origins

Linguistics Link Love – Americanisms and Japanese Kanji

It’s been a while since I last wrote here! Over three years to be precise… I’m now 2900+ miles away from where I last posted from and in a very different place in my life. Fortunately, I still love words, and I want to share a few links I have found lately that might be […][...]

September 24th, 2009 - 5:56 pm § in mysteries of english, old english, plurals, spelling, word origins

How many nouns?

Nearly all nouns have different singular and plural forms. I have one cat; he has two cats. I ate five apples; he had one apple. Nouns with a plural and a singular form are called variable nouns. Most variable nouns form the plural by taking an -s at the end. The added -s is called […][...]

September 18th, 2009 - 6:55 am § in etymology, mysteries of english, old english, vocabulary, words of the day

Words of the Day (9/18)

Every Friday I post a few of my favorite etymologies and vocab words. Check out all my Words of the Day posts HERE. Etymologies: Avocado: (noun. A pear-shaped fruit with a rough leathery skin, smooth oily flesh, and a large stone.) The Aztecs first called this fruit the ahucatl (testicle). It was c[...]

September 2nd, 2009 - 1:49 pm § in etymological spelling, etymology, mysteries of english, pronunciation, spelling

Renaissance Spelling

Did you ever wonder why English has such a strange spelling system? There are countless reasons for this, but borrowing another language’s spelling rules is a major one. Throughout history, it was been in fashion to borrow aspects of language and culture from other admired countries. In Renais[...]

August 26th, 2009 - 9:53 pm § in mysteries of english, pronunciation

Knight versus Night

Have you ever wondered why we have silent k’s in words that begin “kn”? Words like knife, knight, knock, knob are all pronounced without the “k” sound at the beginning. In Old English, the k was not silent. Knight was pronounced “k’nite”, knob as ̶[...]