I have had quite a few surprises since I started writing this blog, back in 2008. Some posts were inspired by surprising facts and others by surprising use. In fact, had I just gone into search and looked for posts with the word “shocked” in them, I might have put this list together more quickly. But it was kind of fun to browse through posts and relive all those moments of discovery, which I offer here for your potential interest and amusement.
1. There are a significant number of people out there surfing the interwebs on a device they think is called a labtop. Yes, a labtop.
2. Bonified is a word. But it probably doesn’t mean what you think it does.
3. A newt was once an ewt and an apron was once an naperon. It’s because “an” was once the article used with all single nouns. And then things got a little strange …
4. As Ivy Wigmore discovered, there’s a word for the practice of referring to yourself by name.
5. We also found that there’s a word for referring to yourself as if you were a plurality.
7. It’s OK to say healthy foods rather than healthful foods.
8. The word factoid can mean either something that’s trivial but true or something that a writer made up and presented as a fact.
9. I would have guessed that the word wow originated, at the earliest, in the 1920s but it’s much, much older than that.
10. A lot of people seem to think they’re devote Christians.
Have you come across any big grammar or spelling surprises? I’d love to hear about it. Let me know in the comments or tweet me @tao_of_grammar.