Interesting Questions, Facts, and Information
Very Long Words
|Hmmm...after playing this quiz, I have a feeling you might have developed "hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia". What is this monstrous word the fear of?||Some Really Long Words
long words. 'Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia' (not to be confused with 'hippophobia', the fear of horses)- derived from 'hippopotomonstrosesquippedalian', means "pertaining to extremely long words".
Now you must understand that not everyone agrees on what 'the longest word' in the English language is, everyone has their own opinion. According to Red Skelton, the word that follows, "And now a word from our sponsor!", is the longest. A few folks say that it's "SMILES", "because it has a mile in it" (let's hear a few "boo"s for this one, please)...
That said, I hope you enjoyed playing this quiz!
|Staying with chemical names, we meet the king of long words- 1,913 letters long! (Some say it's 1,909 letters long, but I don't have the patience to count.)
Quite overwhelming, isn't it? It is the term for the formula C1289H2051N343O375S. What type of a compound is this chemical?||Some Really Long Words
protein. Also known as 'tryptophan synthetase A protein', this chemical is a protein made up of 267 amino acids!
And now for another scientific term, this time for the Tobacco Mosaic Virus of the Dahlemese Strain. It is an RNA-virus, affecting plants, especially the tobacco plant. Its RNA-sequence was published in the "American Chemical Society's Chemical Abstracts" in 1972 as:
This one is 1,185 letters long.
non-stick pans. Polytetrafluoroethylene is better known by the trade name 'Teflon'. It is used to coat non-stick pans or any other surfaces that need to be made slippery or resistant to friction. It is also used in medical applications such as artificial body-parts, because the human body rarely rejects it.
|Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane or DDT was once considered a miraculous chemical when it was first invented in 1874 in Germany. What was it used as?||Some Really Long Words
an insecticide. DDT was considered a wonderful substance when it was first discovered, because of its efficiency in killing a broad variety of insects, especially mosquitoes, while leaving humans comparatively unharmed. It was also cheap and easy to produce. However, since then, people have realised the damage that DDT causes to the environment. It has also been banned in several countries, but usage still continues in several tropical countries. More about its history can be found here: http://www.learner.org/jnorth/tm/DDT.html
|And now it's over to diseases, where we come across another long word (45 letters to be precise)- pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis (sometimes spelt "pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoKoniosis"; with a 'K')! Apparently, this disease occurs especially in miners (people working in mines; not 'minOrs', which means 'children').
What part of the body does this disease affect?||Some Really Long Words
lungs. Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis is a lung disease caused by the inhalation of fine particles of silicon in the form of silica or quartz (sand), or silicates. The word is often shortened to just simply 'pneumonoconiosis' or 'pneumoconiosis'.
And now for a break-up of the word:
'pneumo' or 'pneumono' = lung
'ultra' = very
'microscopic' = tiny!
'silico' = silicon
'volcano' = referring to particles found near a volcano
'coni' = dust
This word is the most commonly used to cite an example of "a really long word" and appears in several unabridged dictionaries.
|And it's time for a word which might be familiar to the young ones -- "Abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz". "Wait!" you may say, "that isn't a word!". Well, according to a certain character from a kids' television show, it is! Which character is this?||Some Really Long Words
Big Bird (from "Sesame Street"). Big Bird, that big, yellow creature on "Sesame Street", stumbles upon the English alphabet (abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz) and has absolutely no idea what it means. Thinking it's a really long word, with the accompaniment of a band, he breaks into a song! He starts singing "Abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz", pronouncing it as "(ab-cud-ef-g´)(jek'l-m'nÔp-kwűr)(st÷÷v-wik-ziz)"! He is under the notion that after ascertaining the meaning of "abcdefghijklmnopqrstuvwxyz", his "brilliance" as a bird will be known the world over.
|'www.llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.com' is the largest non-hyphenated domain-name on the internet! Anyway, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch is the name of a small town somewhere in Great Britain, literally meaning "the church of St. Mary in the hollow of white hazel trees near the rapid whirlpool by St. Tysilio's of the red cave". Understandably, the locals call the place simply 'Llanfair' or 'Llanfair PG' or 'Llanfairpwyll'.
And now for the question- in which part of Great Britain would you find the town with this tongue-twister of a name?||Some Really Long Words
Wales. The name of this tiny town has resulted in a large amount of tourism going on, with tourists flocking here just because of the place's name!
In September 2001, people thought of the idea of making the pronunciation of this word a Welsh "citizenship test"! Afraid of cultural domination by the English, they wanted this test to ensure that newcomers are willing to "mingle" with the population. More here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,3604,546428,00.html
Want to hear the word actually pronounced! You can, out here: http://www.anglesey-history.co.uk/llanfai2.au
Desperate to beat this town in terms of long place names, a railway-station (also in Wales) was given the name "Gorsafawddacha'idraigodanheddogleddoll˘npenrhynareurdraethceredigion".
|There is this possibility that you are an 'antidisestablishmentarian', though you probably don't know it! 'Antidisestablishmentarianism' is another incredibly long word, and is a political philosophy. As the 'anti' prefix will tell you, it is *against* something or the other. But what exactly is it against?||Some Really Long Words
the separation of church from state. The term 'antidisestablishmentarianism' originated in the 19th century, when the 'antidisestablishmentarians' were opposed to the removal of the Church of England's status as 'the State Church of England'. Since then, the word has taken the meaning of "the opposition of separation of church from state". Even though the word is not in use nowadays, the issue of the separation of church from state is still current.
Thought 'antidisestablishmentarianism' was bad enough? Well, I'm sorry to have to introduce you to 'pseudoantidisestablishmentarianism' which means "the *false* opposition to separation of church from state" ('pseudo' means 'false'). Oh, wait; and there's also 'contraneoantidisestablishmentarianalistically' meaning "behaving in the manner of a person belonging to the movement opposed to the new version of the movement opposed to the first movement" (definition taken from Wikipedia.org).
|In 1741, William Shenstone (1714-1763), the famous English poet, wrote in a letter: "I loved him for nothing so much as his flocci-nauci-nihili-pili-fication of money." In 1999, while commenting on the death of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), the US Senator Jesse Helms said, "I note your distress at my floccinaucinihilipilification of the CTBT."
What meaning does the word 'floccinaucinihilipilification' carry today?||Some Really Long Words
dismissing something as having little or no value. In the 18th century, Eton College had a book of grammar, including a list of Latin words meaning "of little or no value". In order, they were 'flocci', 'nauci', 'nihili' and 'pili'. As a joke, somebody put all of these together (and added a '-fication' prefix to make it a noun), and so the word 'floccinaucinihilipilification' was born!
And now for a spot of Latin:
'flocci' in Latin literally means 'a tuft of wool';
'nauci' is 'worthless';
'nihili' means nothing; and
'pili' means 'a hair'!
In 1996, this word appeared in the comic strip "Zippy", distributed by King Features Syndicate:
"Do you think I may be too quick to find fault with things and people, Zippy?
Yeh. Th' 'floccinaucinihilipilification' process.
Floccinaucinihilipilification! It means 'the estimation of something as valueless'!
You've been randomly reading th' dictionary, haven't you?
Yes. That and my natural tendency toward antifloccinaucinihilipilification!"