Sunday, 18 December 2011

An Advent Calendar of the Written Word (18th to 24th)

The final week featuring a note for each day of advent. No chocolates or pictures in this calendar but perhaps something of interest to the wordsmith.

18th - it seems many studies have been conducted into spelling errors. While it impossible to believe any examination can have taken a large enough sample in order to make the study particularly accurate, it seems the 18th most common wrongly spelled word is ASSOCIATION. Amazingly it was not the 's' or the 'c' which proved the stumbling blocks, the most common wrong spelling was "assocation".

19th - it probably won't come as a surprise to discover there are no 19-letter English words beginning with J, K, V, X, Y, or Z. However the most exhaustive of searches also drew a blank for 19-letter words beginning with W.

20th - to list the most common languages we can only use those spoken as a first language. Mandarin comes first, followed by Spanish and English. Twentieth on this list is either Korean or Tamil, both had 66 million speakers at the last respective census but those were taken some years apart.

21st - the 21st novel written by Terry Pratchett was Jingo, one of his Discworld series.

22nd - based on the list of best-selling magazines in the UK during the first half of 2011, 22nd on the list (with 413,311 copies) is Hello! magazine.

23rd - as it's Christmas a look at the all-time best-selling books for children reveals the paperback at number 23 is Judy Blume's Superfudge; while the classic The Tale of Benjamin Bunny by Beatrix Potter is ranked 23rd.

24th - in the Old Testament the 24th word is 'the'; the New Testament 'and'; in the Quran 'is', the Torah 'upon', and in the Book of Mormon 'many'.

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