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Monday, June 23, 2008

Lessons in Words

Here's five things relating to words you might not know:
  1. Sexual innuendo as a play on words was being used by Anglo-Saxon monks more than 1,000 years ago.

  2. Synaesthesia is the name given for a condition which "mixes the senses" where words, word sounds, musical instruments and certain ambient noises have produced involuntary bursts of taste on the tongue.

  3. The English language has no convincing adjectival noun from "pathetic". The Oxford English Dictionary offers "pathetics", in the plural.

  4. Arabic words such as "Ahla" (great!) and "Yalla" (let's go) are used constantly in all Hebrew conversation.

  5. In Arabic script, vowels are left out of the written form. This explains why the name Mohammed can be spelt in several ways in the Roman alphabet, such as Muhammed or Muhamid. Only the consonants M-h-m-d appear in written versions.

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