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April 21st, 2004

The Longest Word

Have you ever felt like saying a word that required a breath before you could finish? Or one that is so long, it couldn’t fit in the memory of some of the earliest computers? There’s plenty of stuff out there about the longest word, and here’s a summary of what I’ve found…

“Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis” is 45 letters and is in the dictionary, but is considered a “fictitious word.” There’s also a 85 letter town in New Zealand named “Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu” (there’s also a town in Wales that’s 58 letters long: “Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwll Llantysiliogogogoch,” which apparently means “St Mary’s church in the hollow of the white hazel near a rapid whirlpool and the Church of St Tysilio of the red cave.”

The longest English words? “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” (34 letters) and the good old stand-by “antidisestablishmentarianism” (28 letters).

Even though it’s a scientific word (the name of a protein), the whopping 1913-letter methionylglutaminylarginyltyrosylglutamylserylleucy-lphenylalanylalanylglutaminylleucyllysylglutamylarginyllysylglutamy-lglycylalanylphenylalanylvalylprolylphenylalanylvalylthreonylleu-cylglycylaspartylprolylglycylisoleucylglutamylglutaminylserylleucyll-ysylisoleucylaspartylthreonylleucylisoleucylglutamylalanylglycylala-nylaspartylalanylleucylglutamylleucylglycylisoleucylprolylphenylala-nylserylaspartylprolylleucylalanylaspartylglycylprolylthreonylisoleu-cylglutaminylaspfraginylalanylthreonylleucylarginylalanylphenylal-anylalanylalanylglycylvalylthreonylprolylalanylglutaminylcysteinyl-phenylalanylglutamylmethionylleucylalanylleucylisoleucylarginylg-lutaminyllysylhistidylprolylthreonylisoleucylprolylisoleucylglycylleuc-ylleucylmethionyltyrosylalanylasparaginylleucylvalylphenylalanyla-sparaginyllysylglycylisoleucylaspartylglutamylphenylalanyltyrosyla-lanylglutaminylcysteinylglutamyllysylvalylglycylvalylaspartylserylv-alylleucylvalylalanylaspartylvalylprolylvalylglutaminylglutamylserylal-anylprolylphenylalanylarginylglutaminylalanylalanylleucylarginylhi-stidylasparaginylvalylalanylprolylisoleucylphenylalanylisoleucylcyst-einylprolylprolylaspartylalanylaspartylaspartylaspartylleucylleucy-larginylglutaminylisoleucylalanylseryltyrosylglycylarginylglycyltyrosy-lthreonyltyrosylleucylleucylserylarginylalanylglycylvalylthreonylglycy-lalanylglutamylasparaginylarginylalanylalanylleucylprolylleucylas-paraginylhistidylleucylvalylalanyllysylleucyllysylglutamyltyrosylaspar-aginylalanylalanylprolylprolylleucylglutaminylglycylphenylalanylgly-cylisoleucylserylalanylprolylaspartylglutaminylvalyllysylalanylalany-lisoleucylaspartylalanylglycylalanylalanylglycylalanylisoleucylseryl-glycylserylalanylisoleucylvalyllysylisoleucylisoleucylglutamylglutamin-ylhistidylasparaginylisoleucylglutamylprolylglutamyllysylmethiony-lleucylalanylalanylleucyllysylvalylphenylalanylvalylglutaminylprolyl-methionyllysylalanylalanylthreonylarginylserine is the one I’d most like to hear someone utter without taking a breath.

Posted in Miscellaneous

FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Wednesday April 21, 2004 -- 2:36:12 pm
Two notes --

1. This Ping was hard to format because putting the 1913-character word on one line totally wonkified the layout.

2. It would be awesome if the domain registration system didn't have a letter limit. I think methionylglutaminylarginy... .org would be a great domain name. Can you imagine the business card with that address on it?



FROM: Ryan [E-Mail]
DATE: Wednesday April 21, 2004 -- 2:37:47 pm
(And, unfortunately, someone already owns llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwyll-llantysiliogogogoch.com.



FROM: Monica
DATE: Wednesday April 21, 2004 -- 5:00:45 pm
I wonder--if you signed up to send an email to someone, from that webpage, if your addresses would be used to get all manner of emails about holiday homes in England and France.



FROM: towinlovinit
DATE: Wednesday April 21, 2004 -- 11:09:58 pm
I think the person or persons who invented the 1913 letter word was either drinking something that us in this civilized world have never heard of or he/they were living an eternal nightmare. Just remember when they pass the cocktail, I might pass, I would not want to be known for a word that has more letters in it than that one. Heavens, there is no way I would try to pronounce it let alone spell it or even try to share it with friends.



FROM: Jared
DATE: Monday October 4, 2004 -- 7:16:34 pm
I've seen longer!



FROM: cate
DATE: Tuesday October 5, 2004 -- 11:15:35 am
Boys, boys - haven't you ever heard that it's not the size of your words that matter?



FROM: Joseph
DATE: Tuesday October 5, 2004 -- 5:57:55 pm
It's whether the word fits nicely in your girlfriends, er, vocabulary.



FROM: Liaira
DATE: Monday December 6, 2004 -- 12:43:21 am
I have been looking for a word longer than lopadotemachoselachogaleokranioliepsanodrimhypotrimmatosylphioparaomelitokatakechymenokichlepikossyphophattoparasteralektryanoptekephalliokigklopeliolegoissiraiobaphetraganopterygon for so long. Thank you for giving me a bigger one. What is the chemical formula for that protein



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