I have had a lifelong fascination with stupidity, much of it through self-reflection. Here are some early, scientific terms for levels of stupidity: Read the rest of this entry »
English shining linens in eggshell sheen.
There are many common double negatives that are proper English. However, there are positive ways to say exactly the same thing with no confusion. Read the rest of this entry »
In the early 1990s, I was obsessed with identifying English words that contained all five vowels. As I ran across them in newspapers, magazines, and books, I added them to a list. After the list reached 30 entries, I thought it would be fun to create a short piece of prose that included all these a-e-i-o-u words structured into meaningful sentences. I used this as a basis for a puzzle for my family and friends. And it entertained me for months.
Pleonasms are expressions that exhibit self-contained redundancy. Here are a few common examples: best ever, close proximity, completely destroyed, end result, false pretenses, may possibly, natural instinct, proceed ahead, and etc. Note that “and etc.” is also a pleonasm.
Here are a few trivial facts about English words:
- The longest common word with all the letters in alphabetical order is almost. Isn’t it strange that the longest word with this characteristic is only six letters?
- The longest word you can make using only four different letters is senselessness.
- The longest common word with no vowels is rhythms.
- The longest consecutive alphabetical sequence that shows up in English words is only four letters long (RSTU, as in overstuff and understudy).
- Ough can be pronounced in many different ways, as in Scarborough (uh), cough (off), dough (oh), hiccough (up), bough (ow), rough (uff), thought (aw), and through (oo).
- The word therein contains 12 substrings that are also English words (the, there, he, her, here, herein, er, ere, re, rein, I, in).
- The first number spelled out that contains an A is one thousand.
- If you could make an infinite list of the whole numbers and arrange them alphabetically, the last number listed would be zero.
This excerpt from Wikipedia defines paragraph:
A paragraph is a self-contained unit of a discourse in writing dealing with a particular point or idea. A paragraph typically consists of a unifying main point, thought, or idea accompanied by supporting details. The nonfiction paragraph usually begins with the general and moves toward the more specific so as to advance an argument or point of view. Each paragraph builds on what came before and may consist of one or many sentences.