I heard a radio dj last Friday trying to pronounce the word that means a fear of Friday the 13th. It’s Paraskevidekatriaphobia. The challenge with any long word is remembering which syllables to accent. The English language has some very long words, some of which ring familiar because we’ve heard them somewhere, such as Supercalifragilisitcexpealidocious from the movie Mary Poppins.
It appears in some dictionaries and its meaning is as a word to use when you have nothing to say. I’ll keep that in the back of my mind if I find a day when I’m fresh out of ideas. You’ll hear a one-word Coffeetalk, “Supercalifragilisticexpealidocious”. Another word I didn’t think was a word is Antidisestablishmentarianism, originally used to describe opposition to the disestablishment of the Church of England. At the end of the 20th century, they say the longest word in common usage was Incomprehensibilities, in reference to things difficult or impossible to understand. That word is at least simpler that Floccinaucinihilipilification, the estimation of something as worthless. The longest word in our language apparently is pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoliosis whose other name is silicosis but why use a short word when a long one will do, right? Do you know the longest word composed exclusively of vowels? It’s Euouae, a musical term from medieval times relating to the Gregorian Chant. And there is a word that describes the tendency to use long words, Sesquipidalianism, something Donald Trump will never be accused of however incomprehensibilities does come to mind.