The quirks and taboo’s of modern english

It is some time now since english has became my secondary language given my computer interests (kids, in the past there were only english versions of operating systems) , and technical things like RFC’s are better understood in their original language , still every now and then i can not feel entertained or puzzled by the english semantics , especially the roots of the words.

Let us take slang or vulgar words for example first , as i have learnt from http://tinyurl.com/hd5r, the most common vulgar words are just the old Anglo-Saxon words , while the French or Latin derived words describing the same thing are perfectly acceptable , and that is just a side effect of the conquest of England by Romans and then the French each of the conquerors having enforced their own language and vulgarised/tabooed the native one.

Another interesting fact about the english language is the lack of a specialised word to describe freedom , as in unconstrainment or unimprisonment , free , a term describing the lack of charge or fee for something being used to fill both roles , when : gratuit (French) , gratuito (Italian) , gratis (Spanish) (etc http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Free ) means free of charge and : libre (French) , libero (Italian) , libre (Spanish) , means unconstrained , unimprisoned , and paradoxically the english word : liberate means to free .

Also i have recently heard a american speaking about something and he used inches to define the size of a bigger thing and centimeters to define the size of a smaller one , now imagine my surprise as a person used to the metric measuring system , to hear someone use the inch system for measuring a big thing but unable to use a smaller division of it for measuring a smaller thing and have to fall back to the metric system for that , no wonder USA is the only country left that has not yet switched to the metric system.

And finally the most entertaining things to me are the many words created just by merging two words into one like : teapot , pancake , shotgun , landmark etc. and while creating words this way is practical it is nevertheless funny and unimaginative but i have to give special recognition to : alimony , layabout , doubleback , flabbergast , hehe.

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