The Mysteries of the English Language

by Annie Carlin

A great benefit of solving word puzzle games is that you improve your vocabulary.  You often come across words you have never heard or seen before Isn’t it great to learn what they mean and be able to use them correctly in a sentence?

The enigma of the English language

Here are some interesting facts about the structure of (English) words.  Sir Winston Churchill used this quote to describe Russia during World War II.  They could also apply to our weird and wonderful language … “It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma; but perhaps there is a key….”

– The top 3 most commonly used letters in the English language are E, A and R.

– The least commonly used letters in the English language are Z. J and Q.

– The only words that have the letter ‘q’ in it and not followed by “u’ have come from other languages.

– The only common words ending in ‘gry’ are angry and hungry.

– The only word in the English language ending in ‘mt’ is dreamt.

Fascinating, isn’t it? Once you start to examine our language and some of the words in it I know that you will have a lot of questions that need answers.

Puzzling holds the key

Dictionaries along with solving crossword and codeword puzzle games are several ‘keys’ that can be used to unlock the mysteries of our language.  They have always woken in me a curiosity about language. Have they done the same for you?

The AskOxford Dictionary site is one of the best to go to for your crossword puzzle research. As you explore it, you will find there is a section called ‘World of Words’ and another called ‘Ask the Experts’. Anything you need to know can be found there and if not, just send in your question. This is a site that you can spend hours reading through and it is all educational.

Word puzzle games and vocabulary building go hand in hand. New words could help you solve that last clue while completing crosswords will teach you new words. The benefits are obvious but the fun of finding out about language might not be. Don’t overlook it. It will awaken an ongoing curiosity about words that will keep your mind alert and questioning for a long time to come.

The more we delve into the English language and discover its many idiosyncrasies, the more we can feel like detectives solving a very large puzzle!  And who says we can’t mix our idioms.  This quote which I believe sums it up perfectly…   “It’s a strange world of language in which skating on thin ice can get you into hot water…” Franklin P. Jones 

The wonders of the English language know no bounds.  That’s why we love it.



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