Somebody used the word “tiny” in a tweet, and it sparked this post.
Interestingly, the word “tiny” may relate to the tines of a fork. They are quite small, although I personally wouldn’t call them tiny. I read the definition of “tine,” and discovered, to my surprise, that it can be used as an adjective, with a similar meaning to “tiny.” Are your forks’ tines tiner than mine? Of course, they could also be teeny, which, unsurprisingly, is derived from “tiny.”
The word “tiny” itself isn’t exactly small. Compared to multisyllabic Latin- and Greek-derived scientific terms it is, but we do have a lot of two- and three-letter words. Of course, the words “a” and “I” take first prize as the teeniest words in the English language! All of that got me wondering: just how many two-, three-, and four-letter words are there, anyway? To find out, I asked my best friend, Google.
There are around 4,000 four-letter words (I’m sure that includes swear words), about 1,250 three-letter words, and at least 102 two-letter ones (I think the most commonly used among these last are prepositions.)
I have a feeling that the list of small words will continue to grow, due to their ease of typing. Do u “gree?”