Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Longest Word in English Language

So folks, here I am, bringing to you the longest word in the English language.

BUT.....yes - you knew there was going to be a but here didn't you, it depends on the definition on what constitutes a word in the English Language.

New words can be formed by:

Coinage: one long word comprised of several words placed together with no space inbetween, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious at 34 letters, is a proper noun referencing the song title from the film "Mary Poppins" and does actually appear in some dictionaries, meaning 'a word that you say when you don't know what to say'.

Construction:  adding prefixes or suffixes to a word, Antidisestablishmentarianism at 28 letters long is the longest common example with the base word being 'establishment' and various extensions added to it;

Place names: are somewhat dubious at best, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, at 51 letters long, being perhaps one of the more famous ones.

Technical terms: Scientific naming schemes can produce lenghty words, Aequeosalinocalcalinoceraceoaluminosocupreovitriolic at 52 letters, describes the spa waters at Bath, England and is attributable to Dr. Edward Strother (1675–1737).

So, enough of that then - What word is the longest??


Ok - let's cut to the chase - pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis at 45 letters is the longest word that actually appears in an English dictionary, however there are other long words that exist which do NOT appear in a dictionary but are debatable as to being 'proper' words.

Honorificabilitudinitatibus, at a miserly 27 letters, is the longest word in the English Language featuring alternating consonants and vowels (and is sighted in Shakespeare's works).  It is 'the plural of the mediƦval Latin word honorificabilitudinitas, which can be translated as "the state of being able to achieve honours".

Antidisestablishmentarianism (as mentioned above) at 28 letters, is the longest non-coined, and nontechnical word meaning 'a political position that originated in 19th-century Britain in opposition to proposals for the disestablishment of the Church of England,ie - to remove the Anglican Church's status as the state church of England, Ireland, and Wales'.

Floccinaucinihilipilification, at 29 letters, is the longest unchallenged nontechnical word meaning 'the act or habit of describing or regarding something as unimportant, of having no value or being worthless'.

Pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism, at 30 letters, is the longest non coined word in a major English dictionary and is used to describe 'a condition where the individual has the phenotypic appearance of pseudohypoparathyroidism type 1a, but is biochemically normal'.

, at 183 letters as the longest word coined by a major author and is the longest word in literature.  It is a fictional dish mentioned in Aristophanes' comedy 'Assemblywomen'.

cylalanylalanyoeucyllysylvalylphenylalanylvalylglutamilylprolylmethionyllysylalanylalanylthreonylarginylserine, at 1909 letters is the longest published word, and is a "Tryptophan synthetase A protein", an enzyme that has 267 amino acids.

Phew, but that's not all.....oh no......Ok - are you sitting comfortably?? Prepare yourself....

The following abbreviated word, Methionylthreonylthreonylglutaminylarginyl...isoleucine

 is 189,819 letters long (and no, I'm not typing it in) and is the chemical name for Titin (the largest known protein) - size matters I guess.

Spell-checker anyone???  Actually, I don't know about you, but I smell a committee somewhere.

Thought of the Day

A picture is worth a thousand words, but it uses up
three thousand times the memory.

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