Here’s some interesting trivia I’ve collected from all over. Some is Spanish-related, and the rest is just language-related, but it’s all interesting– at least to me. Can you tell I like trivia? This isn’t the first time I’ve posted some.
“The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog” is a sentence which contains every letter of the English alphabet and is useful for testing printing equipment or fonts. These sentences are called pangrams. A couple of common pangrams in Spanish are: “El veloz murciélago hindú comía feliz cardillo y kiwi. La cigüeña tocaba el saxofón detrás del palenque de paja.”, and “El pingüino Wenceslao hizo kilómetros bajo exhaustiva lluvia y frío, añoraba a su querido cachorro.”
The phrase “The 3 R’s”– which stands for “Reading, Writing and Arithmetic”– was created by Sir William Curtis, who was illiterate.
The most commonly sung song in the world– “Happy birthday to you”– is copyrighted until 2010.
Two of the greatest writers who ever lived, William Shakespeare and Miguel de Cervantes– of Don Quixote fame–, both died on April 23, 1616.
There are supposedly no words in English that rhyme with “month”, “orange”, “silver”, and “purple”. If you can think of any please let me know.
The word “Bookkeeper” is the only English word that has three consecutive double letters.
The expression “mad as a hatter” comes from a 19th century disorder called “hatter’s shakes” which afflicted hat makers and caused them to tremble, become easily excitable, act irrationally and mumble. The cause? The hatters were being poisoned by mercury. A mercury solution was used to treat the felt for making headgear, which in turn attacked the central nervous system.
España was called Hispania by the Romans, which was borrowed from the Phoenician’s term for the Iberian Peninsula– “The Land of Rabbits”.
Ever wonder about the origin of the Ñ? Originally it was used to save space when writing words that had a double N. So instead of writing “NN” the second N was written above the first one, which eventually evolved into a squiggle instead the the complete N. An example of this is the Latin anno, which is now written año in Spanish.
Corn has been cultivated in Mexico since the year 7000 B.C., more than 4,500 years before the Chinese had begun to develop a national cuisine. Many of the most popular Mexican dishes date from long before the arrival of the Spaniards in 1521, making Mexico the country with the longest tradition of a national cuisine.
The Canary Islands are not named after the little yellow bird as you would assume. They were named after dogs via the Latin root “can”. Think “can” in Spanish, or “canine” in English.
I’ve made a reasonable effort to ensure that the above-mentioned trivia is all accurate, but don’t use it in your doctoral dissertation without doing some more research.