In the Loop

In the Loop: May 15, 2007 Archive

Do you like big words? Take a look at this.

Posted at 11:37 AM on May 15, 2007 by Sanden Totten (2 Comments)

After hearing the rap from last week's Loopcast, someone sent me a new word: sesquipedalian. It's basically a big word that means using big words. I can't believe I didn't put this in the rap . . . but then again, can you think of a good rhyme for sesquipedalian? Post your best couplets below, I dare you.

And for the sesquipadantalists in the house, here is a treat. I looked up the longest word in the English language. Ya'll ready for this?

Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis

It's a five dollar way of saying black lung disease. Funny thing is, it wasn't really a word until 1935 when the National Puzzler's League coined the term to tout it as the longest word in the language. It was a scam but they pushed its usage in dictionaries and eventually it caught on. Now it seems to be a legit addition to our collective vocabulary. Before that the longest word was electrophotomicrographically (a paltry 28 letters versus the 45 of pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis).

Oddly enough, most people I talk to think this is the longest word in English.

ps: Go ahead. Try and rhyme pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis, I double dare you.

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