Britlish

Comfy, Comfier, Comfiest

Vocabulary | Pronunciation

Vocabulary

Did you know that there are over 600,000 words in English? That's a lot of words, and far more than any human being could ever manage to learn. Even Shakespeare only used around 55,000 different words in all of his works. Mind you, he did actually invent quite a few of them. To get a good mastery of English, you do need to expand your vocabulary as much as possible. The more words you know, the better your English will be. The Activities here will help you to quickly develop your vocabulary.

Pronunciation

No matter how good your English grammar and vocabulary may be, if your pronunciation is so bad that nobody can understand a word you say, then your English won't be much good as a means of communication. You might be good at grammar, have a broad vocabulary, and be able to explain all the aspects and tenses of English, but it's not much good if you can't be understood when you speak. I have designed these Activities to help you to improve your pronunciation, as well as other areas of your English.

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Comfortable is not an easy word to say, is it? While comfortable only has 3 syllables, many students try to use 4. Comfortable is so uncomfortable a word to pronounce that in 1829 someone decided that it might be better to use only the first syllable and a -y suffix. The informal word comfy was born and what an improvement, I’m sure you’ll agree. Comfy is a comfy word to pronounce, isn’t it? Let’s see how we use comfy in conversation, shall we?

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From The OED on CD-ROM

comfy, a. (ˈkʌmfɪ) 

Alteration of comfortable a., with the hypocoristic suffix -y6. Hence ˈcomfily adv. 

   1829 Hist. Little Louisa 82, I am saving up my money to buy them two blankets, and then they will be much more comfy.    1887 Kipling Plain Tales from Hills (1888) 230 Put to bed on some rolled-up carpets, all comfy.    1902 Westm. Gaz. 27 Nov. 3/2 A ‘comfy’ paletot for a little girl.    1905 E. Glyn Viciss. Evang. 50 We might sit in that comfy window-seat and talk.    1915 H. Rosher In R.N.A.S. (1916) 57, I arrived here safely in excellent time after quite a comfy journey.    1917 M. Sinclair Tree of Heaven xvi, Not insanely happy‥but quietly, comfily happy.    Ibid. xx, You can't expect us to fight so comfy, and to be killed so comfy, if we know our womenkind are being pounded to bits in the ground we've just cleared.    1928 E. Wallace Again Three Just Men i. 33, I am in London, which is delightfully capitalistic and comfy.    1933 W. de la Mare Lord Fish 182 Let's sit down here comfily on the stones.    1969 Sears Catal. Spring/Summer 26 Crochet-look tights.‥ Comfy, elastic waist.

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