Our world has about 6,500 languages and about one third of them are spoken by a tiny population of less than 1000. On the other hand let’s see which are the most widely spoken languages. English? Yes and no. Find out in our info graphic.
Actually, hmmm . . . all of these and more are words that belong in the category of "crutch words", also known as "filler words". They do not help with the meaning of a sentence - they just fill in gaps and for some people make the sentence irritating. Check out which words these are.
To incorporate all the letters of the alphabet into a sentence and ideally use each letter just once – that is a pangram. It is a challenge that works for all alphabet-based languages. Apart of the fun, the practical use of pangrams is, for example, when testing a new font to make certain it has all the letters of the alphabet. Here are some examples.
Acronyms are abbreviations created from the first letters of words and are themselves pronounced as words. This differentiates them from Initialism which are pronounced letter by letter (e.g. BBC). Acronyms were established in 1940 and gained popularity in the 21st century.
First of all - what are idioms? Idioms are established groups of words carrying certain meanings which differ from the literal translation. In other words, a native speaker often doesn´t even refer to them as idioms, because they come to him/her naturally. It is only while learning English as a second language that idioms create quite a confusion in one´s head. When you closely look at them, you can discover their funny meaning.
One gets a little wary when one hears the words ‘figuratively speaking’. The dictionary says, a metaphor “is a figure of speech in which a word or a phrase is applied to an object or action to which it is not literally applicable”. Well, given the latitude of ‘not literally applicable’ some of the figuratively speaking words can be a bit of a stretch.
The other day I was explaining about the „good knight“. The observant ones already see where I‘m headed. While on paper it doesn't show, orally it creates a confusion and is mistaken for „good night“. Homophones are tricky words that sound the same while spelled differently. Today, in our language article, we check out the most common homophones.
Grammar is generally not the most popular subject under the sun, regardless of the language or the place. The nuances range from insignificant mistakes to serious errors that can even completely change the meaning of a statement. And this is where the fun begins. Where do people make the most mistakes in English grammar? Check it out.
One day you are an average person and suddenly, the very next day, your name becomes an item in a dictionary. An Eponym is a person after whom an invention, phenomenon, or discovery is named. Many Eponyms have become brand names, while many have come from books. Many historical eponyms are also based on mythological or religous persons. Today we look at the origins of the most famous eponyms, the ones that are used on a daily basis.
"Awfully pretty","virtual reality" and the "only choice"... these are a few examples of the daily use of oxymorons – rhetorical phrases with self-contradictory meanings. Some of them have been fully integrated into daily life. Do you use oxymorons often? Check out our gallery.