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Linguistic and Other Oddities

The longest one-syllable word in the English language is "screeched."

"Dreamt" is the only English word that ends in the letters "mt".

Almonds are members of the peach family.

The symbol on the "pound" key (#) is called an octothorpe.

The dot over the letter 'i' is called a tittle.

Ingrown toenails are hereditary.

The word "set" has more definitions than any other word in the English language.

"Underground" is the only word in the English language that begins and ends with the letters "und."

There are only four words in the English language which end in "-dous": tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.

The longest word in the English language, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.

The only other word with the same amount of letters is pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconioses, the plural.

Los Angeles's full name is "El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles de Porciuncula" and can be abbreviated to 3.63% of its size, "L.A."

An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.

Tigers have striped skin, not just striped fur.

Alfred Hitchcock didn't have a belly button. It was eliminated when he was sewn up after surgery.

Telly Savalas and Louis Armstrong died on their birthdays.

Donald Duck's middle name is Fauntleroy.

The muzzle of a lion is like a fingerprint - no two lions have the same pattern of whiskers.

A pregnant goldfish is called a twit.

The Ramses brand condom is named after the great pharaoh Ramses II who fathered over 160 children.

There is a seven letter word in the English language that contains ten words without rearranging any of its letters, "therein": the, there, he, in, rein, her, here, ere, therein, herein.

Dueling is legal in Paraguay as long as both parties are registered blood donors.

John Larroquette of "Night Court" and "The John Larroquette Show" was the narrator of "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre."

A goldfish has a memory span of three seconds.

It's impossible to sneeze with your eyes open.

Cranberries are sorted for ripeness by bouncing them; a fully ripened cranberry can be dribbled like a basketball.

The male gypsy moth can "smell" the virgin female gypsy moth from 1.8 miles away. (But does he CALL? NOOOOOO...)

The letters KGB stand for Komitet Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti.

'Stewardesses' is the longest word that is typed with only the left hand.

To "testify" was based on men in the Roman court swearing to a statement made by swearing on their testicles.

The combination "ough" can be pronounced in nine different ways. The following sentence contains them all: "A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed."

The only 15 letter word that can be spelled without repeating a letter is uncopyrightable.

Facetious and abstemious contain all the vowels in the correct order, as does arsenious, meaning "containing arsenic."

Emus and kangaroos cannot walk backwards, and are on the Australian seal for that reason.

Cats have over one hundred vocal sounds, while dogs only have about ten.

The word "Checkmate" in chess comes from the Persian phrase "Shah Mat," which means "the king is dead."

The reason firehouses have circular stairways is from the days of yore when the engines were pulled by horses. The horses were stabled on the ground floor and figured out how to walk up straight staircases.