Lux Ion (imluxionverdin) wrote in linguaphiles,
Lux Ion
imluxionverdin
linguaphiles

The oldest English words, and a joke on radio

People in Reading university in England have identified the oldest English words in existence.

"Reading University researchers claim "I", "we", "two" and "three" are among the most ancient, dating back tens of thousands of years."
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/7911645.stm
or
http://tinyurl.com/alhzec

A radio presenter was talking about this, and said the oldest words included "I", "three", "five", "two" and "we". He then explained that someone had texted in to the studio and said they thought the words had been, ""I", "three", "five", "POO" and "WEE". The immature radio people fell about laughing in the studio.

Anyway, the researchers also worked out which words were most likely to go extinct next.
"The team says it can predict which words are likely to become extinct - citing "squeeze", "guts", "stick" and "bad" as probable first casualties."

Personally I'd be shocked if 'bad' was more likely to go extinct than other words ... it's a very commonly used word. So I suspect they're wrong. (But that's my opinion, it's not science.)
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