February 16, 2007

Floccinaucinihilipilification?

Like to have fun with words?

Have you read the Mary Poppins books by P. L. Travers? Remember the Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious song from the movie Mary Poppins?

"But then one day I learned a word
That saved me achin' nose,
The biggest word you ever 'eard,
And this is 'ow it goes:
Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!"

Did you know that Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoniosis is "a lung disease caused by breathing in particles of siliceous volcanic dust. This is the longest word in any English dictionary. However, it was coined by Everett Smith, the President of The National Puzzlers' League, in 1935 purely for the purpose of inventing a new "longest word". The Oxford English Dictionary described the word as factitious. Nevertheless it also appears in the Webster's, Random House, and Chambers dictionaries."

So, Floccinaucinihilipilification is currently the longest "real" world in the English language. It means "an estimation of something as worthless."

Challenge to brave writers... can you write a sentence with Floccinaucinihilipilification in it? And can you find the correct pronunciation to recite this difficult new sentence? Try the alphaDictionary for more views on these strange words. Good luck!