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Facts

March 16, 2019

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How these words came about

The English words “salary” and “salad” came from the Latin word “salt.” The first word developed from the fact that Roman soldiers were given permission to buy salt, and the second because the Romans liked to use salt on vegetables.

• The English word ‘minion’ comes from the French word ‘mignon’, which means ‘cute’.

• Your decisions are more rational when thought in another language. This is because using a foreign language reduces decision making biases.


Grammar pedantry syndrome

It is a form of OCD where someone has a compulsive desire to correct every grammatical error done by anyone. Now there’s evidence that these people are actually ill, suffering from a type of obsessive-compulsive disorder/oppositional defiant disorder (OCD/ODD). Researchers are calling it grammatical pedantry syndrome, or GPS.


The cobra effect

The cobra effect occurs when an attempted solution to a problem makes the problem worse, as a type of unintended consequence. The term is used to illustrate the causes of incorrect stimulation in economy and politics.


Native speakers don’t memorise the dictionary

Of course, native English speakers use only a fraction of all the words in the dictionary. In 2013, the Economist looked and found the results to be very interesting. Most adult native English speakers know between 20,000 and 35,000 words — that’s less than 20 per cent of the words in the Oxford English Dictionary. While the average eight-year-old native speaker already knows 10,000 words.

Published in Dawn, Young World, March 16th, 2019