Enjoy Your English Language Trip, See You Next Fall – Daily Quote

Jo Hawk

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The English language fascinates me. As the popular meme states, no matter how weird English may seem, it can be understood through tough thorough thought, though. Researchers at the University of Reading have applied computer modeling to determine the words “I,” “we,” “who,” “two,” and “three” are ancient words, dating back tens of thousands of years. Mark Pagel, an evolutionary biologist at Reading, says, “When we speak to each other we’re playing this massive game of Chinese whispers.” Eh? What did you say?

Speaking of pronunciation, Jakub Marian, a Czech linguist, reports the meaning of words can change depending on which syllable is stressed. “If the stress is on the second syllable, it usually becomes a verb. For example, an ADDress is the place where someone lives. To addRESS someone is to talk to them.”

To add to the confusion, many words are contronyms — words with opposite meanings. Consider…

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