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English Language Oddities

Posted on | March 24, 2010 | No Comments

The list-loving folks at have come up with 25 English Language Oddities to illustrate some of the curiosities and gotchas that native speakers don’t think about, but that make English one of the trickiest languages to learn. Here are some of my favorites:

“Dreamt” is the only English word that ends in the letters “mt.”

“Ough” can be pronounced in eight different ways. The following sentence contains them all: “A rough-coated, dough-faced ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough, coughing and hiccoughing thoughtfully.

Bookkeeper is the only word that has three consecutive doubled letters.

“Stewardesses” is the longest word that can be typed with only the left hand.

“The sixth sick sheik’s sixth sheep’s sick” is said to be the toughest tongue twister in English.

The longest common single-word palindromes are deified, racecar, repaper, reviver, and rotator.

There is only one common word in English that has five vowels in a row: queueing.

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