language and words in the news

What a mouthful!

Crikey! The Huffington Post’s recent article entitled The 11 Longest Words in the English Language sure stretched MY linguistic talents! I do wonder what the point of such words is though. I mean, if you can’t say the thing, let alone remember how to spell it, what’s the point? I guess the scientific ones need to have all those bits in to cover every property of the thing being named – but why can’t they agree a way of shortening it like they do in Maths, when they write something like 10 to the power 52? That Welsh town with the crazily long name,


is just shortened to ‘Llanfair’ by the locals, nobody bothers to actually say the whole thing on a day to day basis.

All these long words…it’s just showing-off really…or maybe it’s a new sport, ‘Extreeeeme lexicography’!

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Beth Penfold

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