Be a wordsmith
The world’s people
1) In English, the letters most used in words are, in order: e, t, o, i, u. the most common written words are, in order: the, of and, to, a, in.
2) The Japanese words for four and death sound almost the same. So do their words for nine and suffering. Because of confusions resulting from this, many hospitals in Japan do not any wards numbered 4 or 9.
3) The Beatles were an extremely popular rock music group of England. It was formed by John Lennon. His poetry expressed the feelings of a whole generation of young people.
4) Joan of Arc was a French peasant girl ho heard `voices.’ These voices’ urged her to help the king. She fought in many battles. She was burned at the stake by English in 1431, when he was only 19 years old.
5) The potato came to Europe from South America-as an ornamental plant.
6) The sandwich is said to have been invented by John Montague, fourth Earl of Sandwich. He wanted a `convenience food’ which he could eat easily while playing cards.
7) The king and queens of Egypt were called pharaohs. They were thought to be gods. Dead pharaohs were buried with food and drink to help them on their journey into the next life.
8) The Chinese used kites in the shape of a dragon to frighten the enemy in battle.
9) On 1 March, Greeks smash jugs against their front doors to get rid of mice and fleas.
10) Some Australian farms are so that farmers use planes to get across them.
11) Ice hockey is the national sport of Canada. Some Canadians flood their backyards in winter to make ice hockey rinks!
12) Spain has more festivals than any other European country. In one of these festivals the villagers throw tomatoes at each other. They do this to celebrate the time when lorry spilled its load of overripe tomatoes all over the village.
13) Denmark is the home of the Lego, one of the world’s most popular children’s buildings toys. The Danes have built a theme park entirely from Lego bricks. It is a big tourist attraction.
14) In Israel, many families live together on big farms, called kibbutz. Each person helps with the job he or she does best.
15) In Japan children practice hiding under tables –not from their teacher but from an earthquake. Earthquakes in Japan can happen any time. They have caused terrible damage in the past.
16) Salt was so voluble in Roman times hat Julius Caesar paid his soldiers in salt rather than money. The Latin word salt is `sal’, thus giving us the word salary.
17) Ptolemy was a Greek scholar. He proposed a theory during the first century AD that the earth lay at the centre of the universe. This theory was believed for 1500 years till Copernicus proved that it was actually the sun which lay at the centre of the Universe. In the sun lay at the centre of the universe. In seventeenth century, Galileo proved that Copernicus was right.
What was Atlantis?
The Greek Philosopher Plato wrote about the mysterious continent of Atlantis people thought the continent of Atlanta was destroyed by earthquakes and floods. Plato thought Atlantis had been somewhere in the Atlantic Ocean. But now people think that Atlanta’s is only a myth like King Arthur. As there was no king Arthur, so also was no Atlantis!
What’s a glutton?
A person who eats a lot and anything he or she gets. Do you now where this word comes from? The wolverine, an animal which lives in the Arctic region, is also called a glutton. Any food it sees is greedily gobbled down.
Why do we say `god bless you’ when someone sneezes?
Some people believe that it started during a great plague in Ancient Athens. A sneeze was often the first sign that a person had got he plague. So the person who heard or saw him sneezing asked God’s blessing for this person who might die.
What does he word `dictionary’ mean?
The word dictionary has come from the Latin language. In Latin it is dictionarius, which means a collection of words.