Page 9 - Language Facts

English is one of the most polite languages!


English is a West Germanic language that was first spoken in early medieval England and is now the most widely used language in the world. It is spoken as a first language by the majority populations of several sovereign states, including the United Kingdom, United States, Canada, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, and a number of Caribbean nations.

However, a lot of people think that the English language is kind of vulgar since there is apparently no formalism when it comes to certain words. However, it is one of the most polite languages ever! For instance, the word “you” is the formal version (like “sie” in German, “lei” in Italian or “Usted” in Spanish) and “thou” the informal version (like “Du” in German or “tu” in Italian and Spanish).

Whenever you talk to someone and use the word “you”, you are indeed being very polite! Feel like a gentleman!

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Using 'meh' as a sign of indifference was popularized by The Simpsons!


"Meh" is a verbal shrug. It's vocalized indifference. The very word lacks effort - like whoever created it couldn't be bothered to come up with more than one syllable. It sounds like it came about organically. As if someone just said it one day to describe how they couldn't care less.

However, some believe that the word has Yiddish origins because of it's similarity to the interjection "feh." The word's usage at least goes back as early as 1992 when it was used in an Internet forum discussing the TV show Melrose Place. It was first used in mainstream print by Canadian newspaper, the Edmonton Sun, in 2003. The headline read: "Ryan Opray Got Voted Off Survivor. Meh."

The word really gained popularity after it was used on the uber successful TV show "The Simpsons." It first appeared in the 1992 episode "Homer's Triple Bypass." Homer's daughter, Lisa, uses it to describe how her generation is indifferent to most things, such as her father's open heart surgery.

It was also used in the episodes "Sideshow Bob Roberts," "Lisa's Wedding," and "Hungry, Hungry Homer." The word has been used frequently on another TV show, "The Mentalist," as well. In 2009, BBC named "meh" one of the 20 words that defined the decade.

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Jersey Shore is called 'Macaroni Rascals' in Japan!


Jersey Shore is an American reality television series which ran on MTV from December 3, 2009 to December 20, 2012 in the United States.

The series follows the lives of eight housemates spending their summer at the Jersey Shore in the U.S. State of New Jersey. The show debuted amid large amounts of controversy regarding the use of the words “Guido/Guidette,” portrayals of Italian-American stereotypes, and scrutiny from locals because the cast members were not residents of the area.

The series garnered record ratings for MTV, making it the network’s most viewed series telecast ever. The series’ cast has also been credited with introducing unique lexicon and phrases into American popular culture.

The series has started airing in Japan, and with the average Japanese cable TV viewer being totally ignorant of American geography, the name “Jersey Shore” needed an explanatory subtitle. So MTV Japan has decided on translating the show to “MTV Jersey Shore—The New Jersey life of macaroni rascals”.

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Some awesome lists!

The word 'cliche' is an onomatopoeia!


Cliché is an expression, idea, or element of an artistic work which has become overused to the point of losing it's original meaning, effect, and even to the point of being trite or irritating, especially when at some earlier time it was considered meaningful or novel.

The term is frequently used in modern culture for an action or idea that is expected or predictable, based on a prior event. Typically pejorative, clichés are not always false or inaccurate; a cliché may or may not be true.

You probably knew most of this, but what you probably didn’t know is that the word is an onomatopoeia! Representing the sound of a printing press.Just try not to go around bragging about it's origin, or it might soon become very cliché.

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What do 'canvas' and 'cannabis' have in common?


The words 'canvas' and 'cannabis' appear to have nothing to do with each other, but they are actually very closely related. Cannabis is the root word for canvas, and a lot of people have been shaking their heads as to why.

Well, before cannabis was made illegal and called 'marijuana', it provided a useful commodity called hemp. Hemp could be used for most things back in the 14th century, and it often was. The first canvas' were actually made from hemp, which comes from cannabis! Thus, it was called a 'canvas' because of the relation it had to the cannabis plant!

It's weird that words work like that. If you have an interest in the origin of words, you should consider studying Etymology, or just clicking the source to take you to a website where you can find out about the history of certain words!

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