English Facts

I received this from my officemate and I thought it would be great to share with you some English facts:

Interesting Facts:
1. The longest one-syllable word in the English
language is “screeched.”

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

3. No word in English language rhymes with
“month,” “silver,” “purple,” or “orange.”

4. The symbol on the “pound” key (#) is called
an octothorpe.

5. The symbol used in many URLs (Web addresses)
is called a tilde. (~)

6. The dot over the letter ‘i’ is called a tittle.

7. The word “set” has more definitions than any
other word in English.

8. “Underground” is the only word in English that
begins and ends with the letters “und.”

9. There are only four words in the English language
which end in “-dous”: tremendous, horrendous,
stupendous, and hazardous.

10. The longest word in the English language,
according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is
pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.

11. The only other word with the same amount of
letters is its plural:
pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconioses.

12. The longest place-name still in use is
Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwe-nuakit natahu,
the Maori name of a hill in New Zealand.

13. Los Angeles’s full name is “El Pueblo de Nuestra
Senora la Reinade los Angeles de Porciuncula” and
can be abbreviated to 3.63% of its size, L.A.

14. The verb “cleave” has definitions which are
antonyms of each other: to adhere and to separate.

15. The verb “sanction” also has definitions which
are antonyms: to sponsor and to ban.

16. A pregnant goldfish is called a twit.

17. There is a seven-letter word in English that
contains eleven words without rearranging any of its
letters, “therein”: the, there, he, in, rein, her,
here, ere, I, therein, herein.

18. ‘Stewardesses’ is the longest English word that
is typed with only the left hand.

19. The combination “ough” can be pronounced in nine
different ways; the following sentence contains them
all: “A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman
strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling
into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed.”

20. The only 15 letter word that can be spelled without
repeating a letter is “uncopyrightable.”

21. “Facetious” and “abstemious” contain all the vowels in
the correct order, as does arsenious, meaning “containing
arsenic.”

22. The word “Checkmate” in chess comes from the Persian
phrase “Shah Mat,” which means “the king is dead.”

23. Only three words have entered English from Czech:
polka, pilsner, and robot.

Bad English Part 2

Well, last night while I was writing the Bad English article, I forgot this recent incident. This happened during the last Binibining Pilipinas 2008. The girl who won the Binibining Pilipinas World and will be competing for this year Ms. World beauty pageant has a very bad command in English. Come to think of it, Ms. Janina San Miguel is a communication student (major in Broadcasting), and yet she has this English command.

Just see and watch: (please see the transcript too!)

Plus the transcript!

Paolo Bediones: Janina, how are you?
Janina San Miguel: I’m fine.
Paolo Bediones: Alright, so you won two of the major awards – Best in Long Gown, Best in Swimsuit, do you feel any pressure right now?
Janina San Miguel: No, I don’t feel any pressure right now.
Paolo Bediones: Confident! Alright! Please choose a name of the judge.
Paolo Bediones: We have Miss Vivienne Tan.
Vivienne Tan: Good Evening.
Janina San Miguel: Good Evening.
Vivienne Tan: The question is, what role did your family play to you as candidate to Binibining Pilinas?
Janina San Miguel: Well, my family’s role for me is so important b’coz there was the wa- they’re, they was the one who’s… very… Hahahaha… Oh I’m so sorry, Ahhmm… My pamily (thi… My family… Oh my god… I’m… Ok, I’m so sorry… I… I told you that I’m so confident… Eto, Ahhmm, Wait… Hahahaha, Ahmmm, Sorry guys because this was really my first pageant ever b’coz I’m only 17 years old and ahahaha I, I did not expect that I came from, I came from one of the top 10. Hmmm, so… but I said that my family is the most important persons in my life. Thank you.

Hmm, now what do you think of her English? Can you understand? I wonder how she even won the title and for me I she had not answered the question. See, the p and f she says “pamily” while it should be “f”amily.

A lot of of people says that this also happens with Ms. Teen U.S.A (Ms. South Carolina). And she doesn’t have any excuse since she is an American and she should have “mastered” this language very well. Hmm I can’t seem to understand whether she is confused or don’t know how to answer that damn question.

Please take A look..(Please read the transcript!)

The question: Recent polls have shown a fifth of Americans can’t locate the US on a world map. Why do you think this is?

Transcript of Ms. South Carolina’s answer:

I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some people out there in our nation don’t have maps and uh, I believe that our, uh, education like such as uh, South Africa, and uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as. And I believe that they should, uh, our education over here! In the U.S. should help the U.S., or, should help South Africa, it should help the Iraq and the Asian countries so we will be able to build up our future, for our children.

Hmm funny right? I wonder when they can try to at least speak slowly but surely *confused*.. Why they always have to be in the rush.

Bad English…

I was working with call center industry for almost 5 years. And given I have been dealing with foreigners most of the time and we are not allowed to disclose our locations, (say even if the customer noticed our native accent, we should still say that we are located in U.S.), we need to really sound like Americans or Brits, depends which account you will be handling.

Mostly of the accounts I handled were U.S. clients so I need to undergo this American Accent training with none other than Anne Cook. Dang she is really good. But since I am a Filipino, I think there would still be slip of the tongue when it comes to this English language. The common problems of Filipinos I think would be the P and the F, the B and V. Most of the time, they interchange this with one another for example “pe-der” (this should be “F”ea=ther), fey-per (this should be “P”ey-per) and the likes. Also the “Th” sounds.

Hmm, I think this is the classic Filipino English which is mostly shown during our Accent training classes. This is why I just so love Rex Navarette. I know some people think he is kinda racist but common, he is stand up comedian, and I think most of them do this as well.

Yeah see the P and the F. 😀

Maritess is also funny..

Basically this are videos that shows that we need to have to improve our English if we are really serious in getting in the call center industry. But sometimes, I think when I was in this industry, I find some of the agents so TH (trying hard) when they try to imitate the way black people speak. For me, I think, they sounded like this:

Yeah, the more harder you try to sound like those black or put some twangs the more it ends up in disaster. Example the beach ends up with short e and it sound like BITCH!. Common dude, speak in your normal way. Don’t be so trying so hard. You look like a mess.

I’d rather listen to this person. Who thinks that the title of Mariah Carey’s song Without you is Ken Lee. I think she has more excuse in English language since I think only few speaks fluent English in Bulgaria.

Hmm, now I wonder, do I also speak that bad. But hey, so far in my stay in the call center, none of my customers during escalations of my agents thinks I am not located in U.S. so as my agents.

Maybe, I should not be confident enough. I should still improve my English.