Funny, Funny English

As you may know, one of my loves is watching English Premier League Soccer. It occured to me, while watching the Liverpool-Manure disaster over the weekend, that English is the oddest language in the world in terms of the lack of predictable patterns. (*)

Case in point: the nonstandard endings for demonyms. Check out this list:

Liverpool -> Liverpudlian
Manchester -> Mancunian
Oxford -> Oxonian
Leeds -> Leodensian
Newcastle -> Novocastrian
Glasgow -> Glaswegian
Wolverhampton -> Wulfrunians

Do you see an easy pattern there? I sure don’t. You have the “-ian” ending in most of them, but just before that is a rat’s nest of arbitrariness.

(*) I’ve studied Spanish, French, Hebrew, and Russian in depth.


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