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  • ·       Кто из знаменитостей придумал такие, прочно укоренившиеся в английском языке  слова, как Critical? Monumental?  Excellent?  Beautiful?   Explain? Exact? Summit? Lonely?  Environment?

·         Почему американцы пишут одну букву l в traveller? Jeweller?  и  др., в то время, как англичане две?

  • ·         Сколько английских времен знал Шекспир, и как бы он сказал «Я читаю» по-английски?
  • ·          Кого должны благодарить англичане за пополнение словарного запаса?
  • ·         Какие английские слова не любят французы, испанцы, итальянцы, немцы и др. нации?
  • ·           Что творится с английским произношением и орфографией?

И еще тысячи ответов на самые каверзные вопросы, которые помогут  любознательному студенту-лингвисту не только заткнуть за пояс любого экзаменатора,  будь то история языка, языкознание, лексикология, этимология или фонетика, но и сразить наповал.


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Anyone who spent much of his or her adolescence miserably trying to remember whether it is ‘la plume’ or ‘le plume’ will appreciate just what a pointless burden masculine and feminine nouns are to any language. In this regard English is a godsend to students everywhere.



Some cultures do not swear at all. The Japanese, Malayans and most Polynesians and American Indians do not have native swear words. The Finns, lacking the sort of words you need to describe your feelings when you stub your toe getting up to answer a wrong number at 2.00 a.m., rather oddly adopted the word ravintolassa. It means ‘in the restaurant’.



Nothing in English is ever quite what it seems. Take the simple word what. We use it every day – indeed every few sentences. But imagine trying to explain to a foreigner what what means. It takes the Oxford English Dictionary five pages and almost 15 000 words to manage the task.



…In English, in short, there words for almost everything. Some of these words deserve to be better known. Take velleity, which describes a mild desire, a wish or urge too slight to lead to action. Doesn’t that seem a useful term? Or how about slubberdegullion, signifying a worthless fellow?...Our dictionaries are full of such words – words describing the most specific of conditions….And yet there are odd gaps…. We have a possessive impersonal pronoun its to place alongside his, hers, and their, but no equivalent impersonal pronoun to contrast with personal whose. We have a word to describe all the work we find waiting for you when we return from vacation backlog, but none to describe all the work you have to do before you go. Why not forelog?