If you are a follower of my blogs, you know in the past I have wondered about the spelling and pronouncing of words and the English language rules, or lack of, so you may not be surprised that I again have something to say about language.
Actually, I just read in my November 2010 issue of DISCOVER magazine “20 things you didn’t know about language”. DISCOVER always has “20 things you didn’t know about . . .” on the last page of their magazine every month. I do so enjoy it and I usually learn something interesting. Here is a link to all the past articles back through 2006. Enjoy: http://discovermagazine.com/columns/20-things-you-didnt-know
I am going to give you a few samples of the latest 20 things. Did you know that the human voice box sits lower in the throat than it does in other primates, giving us a uniquely large resonating system? That’s why we alone are able to make the wide range of sounds needed for speech.
Unfortunately, the placement of our voice box means we can’t breathe and swallow at the same time, as other animals can. Fortunately, the human voice box doesn’t drop until about 9 months, which allows infants to breathe while nursing.
Modern technology is making everything smaller, even our words. “Bits of eight” shrank to become byte, “modulate/demodulate” became modem, “picture cell” became pixel, and of course “web log” became blog.
This is just a short sample. Maybe you should get the magazine and read the rest of them. They are all interesting, like the longest word recognized by the Oxford English Dictionary. No, I’m not going to tell you what it is. . .