1. The first letters of the months separating June and December spell ‘JASON’.
2. “Shit” is one of our oldest words, and used to mean “cattle diarrhoea”.
3. The chess term “checkmate” comes from a 14th century Arabic phrase, “shah mat”, which means “the king is helpless”.
4. Earth is the only planet in our solar system that’s not named after a god.
5. English is the official language of the skies, and all pilots, regardless of their country of origin, identify themselves in English on international flights.
6. English is the third most commonly spoken language in the world (the first and second are Mandarin Chinese and Spanish).
7. More English words begin with the letter “S” than any other letter of the alphabet.
8. “Typewriter” is one of the longest common words you can type on the top row of a typewriter.
9. English is mainly a mix of Old High German, Old Norse, and Anglo-Norman. We only started speaking recognisable Modern English in the 14th Century.
10. The past tense of “dare” is “durst”.
11. The closest languages to English are Dutch and West Flemish.
12. “I” is the oldest word in the English language.
13. The game of marbles gave us the phrase “knuckle down” (placing your knuckles on the floor lined up a better shot).
14. “Juke” as in “jukebox” may be derived from a West African word for “disorderly” or a Scots word for “dance”. No one really knows.
15. The dot above the letters “i” and “j” is called a superscript dot.
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