Now I am writing for a living, there are many curiosities that strike me about the language of English, seemingly contradictory grammatical rules, strange spellings, silent letters, that dreaded “i before e except after c” that has so many exceptions. This thread is just a dumping ground for some of the weirder quirks so please forgive me for the random thoughts that are about to follow.
Why isn’t “onomatopoeia” an onomatopoeia?
Why isn’t “palindrome” a palindrome?
Why “phonetic” isn’t spelt phonetically?
If the noun is lightning, why isn’t the verb lightninging?
Why isn’t “diminutive” a diminutive word?
Similarly, why is “abbreviation” such a long word?
Why does the word “superfluous” have so many syllables?
Why this sentence makes sense: “Every job that he had had had had no effect on his desire to settle down”
Why does “thesaurus” have no synonyms?
Why aren’t “ruly”, “gruntled” and “peccable” proper words when you can be unruly, disgruntled and impeccable?
Why do “overlook” and “oversee” have opposite meanings?
Why we use “near miss” when we narrowly avoid something – near miss should mean it nearly missed… surely?
If anybody would like to answer any of those, then give it your best shot!
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