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  1. tzfujimino's Avatar
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    #1

    The longest English word

    pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis

    This is the longest English word that I know.
    I learned it from a teacher when I was a junior high school student.
    I thought, "How can you remember the spelling of the word? You are a genius!"
    Much later on, I found it is actually composed of several parts:
    pneumono-ultra-microscopic-silico-volcano-coniosis
    It's a lot of fun to introduce this word to students in class. They say, "What's that? Is it a sentence?"

    Anyway, do you know any longer words than this?

  2. englishhobby's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: The longest English word

    No.)

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    #3

    Re: The longest English word

    Well Wikipedia also says that your word is the longest in english dictionary, one more I would like to add is "Pseudopseudohypoparathyroidism". May be not longer than yours but that's what I found.....

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    #4

    Re: The longest English word

    Another one mentioned when talking about long words, and one that is a single word in English rather than lots of bits stuck together is Floccinaucinihilipilification

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: The longest English word

    But that one is a joking reference to a group of Latin words that behaved the same way grammatically or semantically (not sure which ). Schoolboys (there was no such thing as a schoolgirl at the time) had a mnemonic jingle that started 'Flocci, nauci, [pauci...] nihili, and pili...', and although many dictionaries still list it I don't imagine anyone uses it, except as a joke. (There are aren't that many contexts that call for a word that means 'The art or habit of estimating as worthless'! )

    b

  4. 5jj's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: The longest English word

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    There are aren't that many contexts that call for a word that means 'The art or habit of estimating as worthless'!
    It might be a useful word for some members to use of my character when I delete some post they have lovingly crafted (?), only to find it deleted by me with the reason given - 'pointless post', 'clone of banned user' or (only once) 'drivel'.

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    #7

    Re: The longest English word

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    nauci, [pauci...]
    I remembered it as pauci until I searched to get the spelling right, but Oxford give it this way.

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    #8

    Re: The longest English word

    Quote Originally Posted by 5jj View Post
    It might be a useful word for some members to use of my character when I delete some post they have lovingly crafted (?), only to find it deleted by me with the reason given - 'pointless post', 'clone of banned user' or (only once) 'drivel'.
    I like the idea; we should adopt it. And be careful about typos.

  5. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: The longest English word

    I don't mean to sound churlish, but these threads always start to annoy me. There are all sorts of scientific names for proteins or viruses that just go on and on and ON, but those are hardly English words. So take this as a warning to anyone who is tempted to paste in one of those four-line "words" - I'll delete it. Words that actually have meanings instead of naming proteins strung together only, please.

    Besides, everyone knows that "smiles" is the longest word in English. Can you figure out why?
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  6. 5jj's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: The longest English word

    Because there's a ...

    No, I don't want to spoil it for somebody else.

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