Sunday, December 07, 2008

Good Old English

I noticed a little while ago that someone had stuck a series (about 4) of pictures (and captions) drawn in black marker on white paper going down the stairs. I never actually read it properly but it's something about an entity biting a kittens head off I think. I didn't used to go down those stairs much but since English has been moved upstairs I go down there everyday. A couple of days ago I was walking down and I noticed some writing in pencil on one of the pieces of paper. I was quite amused because someone had corrected the grammar of a caption in pencil and then written a technical description of why this was not correct.
You gotta love English students.

Aside from that little story I thought I'd leave with you. I also received a forward from my cousin Catherine the other day which has the title 'Interesting English facts', I don't think all of them are actually only 'English' (such as the ones about peanuts and rubber bands) but I thought I'd put them up here anyway. At the top it says:

Just keep scrolling down. This is very interesting! After reading it, you'll go 'duh, I didn't know that.'
I think my reaction was more like 'I did know quite a bit of that, and why did I want to know all of that?' but it was vaguely interesting anyway. Oh yes, and I can't guarantee that these are actually correct. You know what forwards are like.
I think I'll have to correct some of the grammar and layout of this e-mail as it was another one of those that isn't that great at those things. I'll be so impressed if I ever get a well laid out and correctly punctuated forward. It is so rare.
Anyway, here you go...

'Stewardesses' is the longest word typed with only the left hand.
I knew that.

And 'lollipop' is the longest word typed with your right hand.
Didn't know that one. Mmm, lollipops.

No word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver, or purple.
Knew that. We used to have fun trying to make up words to rhyme with these...

'Dreamt' is the only English word that ends in the letters 'mt'.
And that one.

Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing.
I'd definitely heard that somewhere before.

The sentence 'The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog' uses every letter of the alphabet.
I thought everyone knew that one!

The words 'racecar', 'kayak' and 'level' are the same whether they are read left to right or right to left (palindromes).
I knew what a palindrome is, and I'm pretty sure I've seen all of those examples before...

There are only four words in the English language which end in 'dous': tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.
Now that one I didn't know.

There are two words in the English language that have all five vowels in order: 'abstemious' and 'facetious.'
I knew that there were two words and one of them was facetious.

'Typewriter' is the longest word that can be made using the letters only on one row of the keyboard.
I never really thought about this...

A cat has 32 muscles in each ear.
That's English?

A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds.
Actually that's not true, it has been proven that they actually have a memory span longer than three seconds. I saw it on QI :P.

A 'jiffy' is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a sec ond.
How nice for it.

A shark is the only fish that can blink with both eyes.
Again, English?

A snail can sleep for three years.
This should just have been the living creatures section of the forward.

Almonds are a member of the peach family.
Oh, maybe not.

An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.
I'm sure I heard this at least 5 years ago...

Babies are born without kneecaps. They don't appear until the child reaches 2 to 6 years of age.
I think I heard this somewhere.

February 1865 is the only month in recorded history not to have a full moon.

In the last 4,000 years, no new animals have been domesticated.
How extremely exciting.

If the population of China walked past you, 8 abreast, the line would never end because of the rate of reproduction.
Heard that one before.

Leonardo Da Vinci invented the scissors.
It should have been Leonard of Quirm! He would have called it something like 'The Cutting Paper, Card or Other Materials Neatly Device'.

Peanuts are one of the ingredients of dynamite!
Ok then. Don't let the government take your peanuts!

Rubber bands last longer when refrigerated.
I've heard that one somewhere as well.

The average person's left hand does 56% of the typing.
Oh I see. Well, that makes sense, I do use my left hand a lot. Plus I use my left hand for the space bar and the caps lock and ctrl keys.

The cruise liner, QE 2 moves only six inches for each gallon of diesel that it burns.
That's not very environmentally friendly now is it.

The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket.
He must have been quite disappointed. Unless of course he wanted chocolate sauce.

The winter of 1932 was so cold that Niagara Falls froze completely solid.
Since when was Niagara Falls in England?

There are more chickens than people in the world.
Note the use of the word 'world', and no use of the word 'England'. That means it's not just an 'Interesting English Fact'.

Winston Churchill was born in a ladies' room during a dance.
This makes it seem like he was born secretly in a bathroom at a teenage prom night.
The quote that I read said "Sir Winston Churchill was born in a ladies' cloakroom after his mother went into labour during a dance at Blenheim Palace".

Women blink nearly twice as much as men.
Yep, known that for quite a long time.

At the end there was one of those 'Pass this on and blah blah blah'. They did make it a little different by adding 'They say if you pass this on you will receive a miracle'. But really all that does is make it ok when you don't receive one. But it is better than all of those ones that talk about all the nasty things that will happen to you if you don't send it. I've ignored plenty of those and so far I haven't been haunted by a little dead girl at midnight (I'm usually still awake at that time so I'm sure I'd have noticed) or been murdered in my sleep by another little girl. What is it about the idea of a little girl that it has to be put into so many chain e-mails? Anyway. I'll go now. Hope you enjoyed a few bits of this post :).

1 comment:

Jingle Bella said...

"The cruise liner, QE 2 moves only six inches for each gallon of diesel that it burns.
That's not very environmentally friendly now is it.

I don't know about cruise liners in particular, but big boats are usually extremely environmentally friendly, because they use a lot of fuel but they can carry an enormous amount of cargo, so the stuff-to-fuel ratio is really quite high.