Who Knew?

In this category are the answers to a number of questions that may or may not have ever occurred to you, including why slang may swallow English whole someday; how the writing of a homonym when its aural twin is meant is rampant (think reign for rein and  flare for flair); and why the noun ways (as in “We’ve still got a good ways to go”) is singular.

In addition you’ll find the roller-coaster history of a few words (the original meaning of nice was the polar opposite of the modern-day definition); an assortment of words drawn from proper names of people both real and mythological; what Dutch linguists have determined is world’s most frequently voiced word; and a sampling of other surprises.