English is Interesting
English is interesting; even a letter changed in a word could express entirely different meaning and tone of the sentence. Let us review the following example for illustration: -
- You are hired. (It means “You are employed.”)
- You are fired. (It means “You are dismissed.”)
What a great and extreme difference it is? You will be very excited on your new employment when you heard the first sentence above. However, you will be very disappointed and lost your job when you heard the second sentence instead.
Perhaps you may find the use of ‘he or she’ in the following manner is interesting.
When you pick up the phone to call someone and say, “May I speak to Nancy please?’. You may get the answer, “This is she”. (it means “This is Nancy’s speaking”)
When you see a baby or a pet but cannot identify its gender, then, you can simply ask, “He or she?” or “A boy or girl?”
The cited examples above are merely to point out that English is sometimes simple but depends on how and when you can use it correctly and appropriate. This is the interesting part in English.
I am very interested in researching the pattern of English words. The idea is brainstormed by my previous Chinese essay on “Shamed and Ashamed”. As such, I could conclude the application of a prefix of “a” or “al” in some of the English words might express the same or similar meaning and/or same part of speech. In view of this research, I have compiled the following table to share with my readers
- Broad (adj) wide; abroad (adj) overseas
- Board (n) border; aboard (adj, adv) alongside
- Bed (n) furniture for sleeping; abed (adj, adv) in bed
- Cross (n, v) symbol of two intersecting lines; across (adv) from side to side
- Fire (n) burning; afire (adj, adv) on fire
- Foot (n, v) lower part of leg, walk; afoot (adj, adv) on foot progress
- Flame (n) blazing combustion; aflame (adj, adv) afire
- Like (v, n) same; alike (adj) same
- Lone (adj) without companionship; alone (adj) without companionship
- Fresh (adj) with original quality; afresh (adj) once more
- Loud (adj) noisy; aloud (adv) in a loud tone
- Long (adj) extending distance; along (adv, prep) together, moving forward
- Loft (n, v) attic, upper space; aloft (adv) in high place
- Line (n, v) row; aline/align (adj) in a line
- Live (v, adj) having life, dwell; alive (adj) having life
- Light (n, adj) burning, little weight, bright; alight (adj, v) lit up, get down
- Round (v, adj) circular; around (adv) in a circle
- Sleep (n, v) in naturally unconscious state; asleep (adj) sleeping condition
- Side (n, v) surface; aside (adv) on one side
- Slope (v) incline; aslope (adj, adv) slant
- Stir (v) moving about; astir (adj) moving about
- Void (v, n, adj) invalidate, take out; avoid (v) empty out, keep away
- Wake (v) stop to sleep; awake (v) rouse from sleep
- Wait (v) stay, postpone action; await (v) wait for
- Maze (n, v) confuse; amaze (v) surprise
- Mend (v) improve, correct; amend (v) fix, correct
- New (adj) fresh; anew (adv) once more
- Port (n) place on waterway; aport (adv) on port side
- Peak (n) in the highest level; apeak (adj, adv) in vertical position
- Part (n) portion; apart (adv) to the side
- Rise (v) get up, move forward; arise (v) get up, move forward
- Together (adv) in a group; altogether (adv) completely
- Though (conj) even if; although (conj) even if
- Mighty (adj) powerful; almighty (adj) having absolute power
- Right (adj) correct; alright / all right (adj, adv) satisfactory, correct
- Lot (n) number of choice or determination; allot (v) distribute by lots
- Locate (v) to determine the position; allocate (v) distribute, set aside
- Location (n) a situation, process of locating; allocation (n) allotment, appropriation
Do you know which are the top twenty selected as “most beautiful English words”? The ranking is as follows: -
- Aquiver(adj): Quivering, trembling.
- Mellifluous(adj): A sound that is sweet and smooth, pleasing to hear.
- Ineffable(adj): Too great to be expressed in words.
- Hiraeth(n): A homesickness for a home you can't return to, or that never was.
- Nefarious(adj): Wicked, villainous, despicable. (Note: I have no idea why this word is selected in this category since it means “evil”)
- Somnambulist(n): A person who sleepwalks.
- Epoch(n): A particular period of time in history or a person's life.
- Sonorous(adj): An imposingly deep and full sound.
- Serendipity(n): The chance occurrence of events in a beneficial way.
- Limerence(n): The state of being infatuated with another person.
- Bombinate(v): To make a humming or buzzing noise.
- Ethereal(adj): Extremely delicate, light, not of this world.
- Illicit(adj): Not legally permitted. (Note: I have no idea why this word is also selected in this category since it means “illegal”).
- Petrichor(n): The pleasant, earthy smell after rain.
- Iridescent(adj): Producing a display of rainbowlike colors.
- Epiphany(n): A moment of sudden revelation.
- Supine(adj): Lying face upwards.
- Luminescence(n): Light products by chemical, electrical, or physiological means.
- Solitude(n): a state of seclusion or isolation.
- Aurora(n): dawn.
The result of the ranking and selection may partially or completely be different from other survey or sources. However, those words describing the feeling or reaction of lovers are normally be selected as most beautiful ones. The words signifying the free and relaxing state or environment for enjoying are also be chosen and counted. Some words delineating the “Beauty of the Nature” are also be shortlisted. Out of the above twenty selected words, how many words you are familiar with? If you can recognize ten of them or more, then perhaps you are a typical “perfectionist”. Otherwise, you are very strong and extensive in vocabulary.
Then how about the top ten worst English words are? The list is as follows: -
- Renal(n): Relating to the kidneys
- Orifice(n): An opening in the body
- Sputum(n): A mixture of saliva and mucus
- Munch(n): Eat audibly
- Secrete(v): To produce and discharge a substance
- Fester(v): To become septic
- Riddled(adj): Full of disease
- Smear(n): A sample of tissue taken from the body
- Quim(n): Vulgar slang for female genitalia (Note: This word is offensive to women).
- Viscous(adj): Having a thick sticky consistency
Finally, it may be very interesting to know which English word is the longest one? The answer is the word “pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis”. It is a type of lung disease caused by inhaling ash and sand dust. This word has 45 letters. Usually, medical terms or words are very long and hardly to pronounce. If you can pronounce this word, you are wonderful and great.