Country names ending in “-ia”

Many countries have "land" as a suffix, like England, Poland, Switzerland, etc., which means ‘the land of the English’, ‘the land of the Swiss’, etc. Many other countries have "stan" as a suffix, like Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, etc. ‘Stan’ means land in their language, it became ‘the land of the Kazakh’, ‘the land of the … Read more

Is the word ‘the’ unnecessary in the English language?

Measuring the frequency of words in almost every English book or document (which is long enough) ends up ranking the word ‘the’ as the most used word. Is there any solid function the word ‘the’ plays in context of a sentence other than making the sentence “sound right”? For example, let me strip-out the word … Read more

Is there a semantic difference between “need not contain” and “do not need to contain”?

This question already outlines what the syntactic differences between “need not” and “do not need to” are. However, a discussion unfolded below this answer about the following quote from this document: […] In order to cause [the] preprocessor to be invoked, it is necessary that the very first line of the program begin with #. … Read more

Metaphors that appeal to more than one of the senses (hearing, seeing, smell, etc.) at a given time?

I’m curious about the origin of using descriptors of one sense (e.g. sight) in order to describe a different sense (e.g. touch). (Please note that humans have more than five senses, as this may affect your answer.) Using one sense to describe another is common enough in English, like “a honeyed voice” where a sound … Read more

Legitimacy of the word “imput”

I see Merriam Webster defines "imput" as a "variant of input" but no other dictionaries have entries (unless you count the Urban Dictionary’s "The usual idiotic misspelling of the word input"). Google Ngram has entries for "imput" in books, including a spike in the late 1970s, but even that spike is of trivial volume (<0.00001%), … Read more

Does English have a sister language other than Scots and Frisian?

Like I said in the title, I am aware that Scots is a sister language of Modern English. I am also aware that Frisian diverged from west Germanic, making it and it’s modern variants sister languages, but is there a language, dead or alive, that diverged after Latin and the romantic languages influenced English(middle English)? … Read more

Same words interpreted as different meanings in different languages Is it possible that there are so many languages in the world, the written words can be same in more than one language having different meanings? In that case Google translator will detect the text in multiple languages? I mean the same word written in multiple languages having different meanings. Note: In English language … Read more

What’s the terminology in linguistics for the evolution of “space ship” to “spaceship”?

Is there a term in linguistics for the evolution of a word like “space ship” to “spaceship”? There’s an answer on this site which says: Here is a rule I read related to evolution of compound words. Most compound words start out as two words: Air plane, Space ship Stage two, they are hyphenated: Air-plane, … Read more