Back in the day, collecting postage stamps was a hobby. Today, it can be a lucrative business, with investment potential, in some cases. Some of the rarest stamps can fetch spectacular amounts of money. A "One Cent magenta" stamp, for example, was sold in 2014 for US$ 9 480 000. Postage stamps, however, are not the only items people like to collect. Collectibles can include anything from beer maths to match boxes, dolls, car models or even coupons. And to top it all off, they all have names. Which collecting obsession is yours?
Encountering a word that contradicts its own meaning can be a challenge to understanding. Nevertheless, such words exist, and are called contronyms, and their opposite meaning depends on the context of the sentence. On the other hand, many of them are well known and commonly used in both ways. How this works in practice will be found in this article.
Millennials have been linked to many strange attributes. In addition to technology addiction, there is also a preoccupation with convenience. And that might be one of the themes of the peculiarities that permeate Millenial vocabulary. As shown by the following examples, shortening has surely become The Thing for the era following the turn of the millenium.
Words or sentences that read the same backwards and forwards have been a popular pastime since ancient times. One of the oldest ones dates back to 79 AD. Given their highly visible occurence across today’s internet, Palindromes don't seem to be fading away. While some are practically usable, others sound more like disconnected statements from another world.
Animal noises belong in the category of Onomatopoeia, which are words that phonetically imitate the original sounds. From a linguistic point of view, the variability of interpretation from language to language is unsurprising, but the frequent diversity of these linguistic contrivances, at times far from even marginally reminding the listener of the actual sound, can be amusing to many people. The same hen does "kokodák" in Czech, "git-git-giddak" in Turkish, and "petok-petok" in Indonesian. And in English hens, never do anything apart from clucking. It is the man who speaks: "Cock-a-doodle-doo". Next time you are asked by a child which animal does which sound, make sure you know the answer in the right language.
Pronunciation challenges don’t just come in the form of specially created tongue twisters. There are names around the world that are everyday challenges for all the people who use them, whether it is the first name, city name or the train station. Visit these with us and see some of the longest names in the world.
Any given word in one language can mean something quite different in another language. Mostly these are just innocent differences in meaning, but here and there some of the differences can create embarrassing situations if the nuances are overlooked. In one instance, a brand was introduced in a new foreign market and not only failed, but had to be removed from all the shelves because the brand name had a double meaning which happened to be vulgar and inappropriate in the country of introduction. Check it out.
The longest words in most languages are a challenge. Perhaps that´s why they are not often used and commonly remain curiosities in dictionaries. Here are some of the most complicated ones, some running on and on, and taking up whole lines.
Tongue twisters are certainly not mindless and silly games for children. They are a good exercise for everyone who needs to get fluent and pronounce well in a language – for example before a speech. Similarities in words and tongue twisters are a great help to be able to differentiate. Here are some of the best ones.