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Words Wednesday: Word Trivia

Words Wednesday logoMost people like trivia.

Those facts and figures which crop up from time but which are not really that useful…unless you go in for lots of quizzes and general knowledge competitions.

Then you might those useless facts you have stored away in your head to be very useful indeed.

Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis, a disease caused by inhaling
very fine silicate or quartz dust (45 letters), is the longest word in The Chambers

It is followed by floccinaucinihilipilification, setting at little or no value (29 letters), and antidisestablishmentarianism, a movement against the removal of state recognition of the Church of England in the 19th century (28 letters).

There are a few one-syllable words with nine letters, making them the longest words
with one syllable: screeched is the one most often cited; it is joined by scratched,
scrounged, scrunched, straights, strengths and stretched.

A 15-letter word in The Chambers Dictionary containing each of its letters only once
is dermatoglyphics, meaning patterns of lines on the skin. Another word with these properties is uncopyrightable.

The longest English word in common use without a vowel is rhythms.
The words facetious, abstemious and arsenious contain all the vowels in the correct order.

The only word in English with five vowels in a row is queueing.

The only unhyphenated words with three pairs of letters in a row are bookkeeping
and bookkeeper.

Chincherinchee, a South African plant, has one letter that occurs once, two letters that occur twice, and three letters that occur three times.

The only word for an integer that has the same number of letters as its numeric value is four.

The only common word in English ending in -mt is dreamt.

Only four commonly used words end in -dous: tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous.

Next week we will start looking at some word differences in American and British use of English.

* All words in this blog post have been supplied by The 12th edition of The Chambers Dictionary. ISBN 97805501002379

6 Responses to Words Wednesday: Word Trivia

  1. Cristian Stan ROMANIA August 29, 2012 at 11:30 am #

    OMG! I didn’t even know such words exist! Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis? It’s so hard to pronounce. I look forward to reading the post from next Wednesday. I know there are a few grammar differences between American and British English.
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    • Patrick Griffin
      August 29, 2012 at 6:44 pm #

      Hi Cristian.
      Yes those words are pretty hard core indeed.
      I have not even attempted to pronounce any of them!
      But I love a challenge so let’s have a go…


      I would pronounce it like this…


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      • Cristian Stan ROMANIA August 31, 2012 at 12:02 pm #

        :)) Patrick, you’re one in a million! I love your sense of humor. I’ve shown this post to my friends and he had a contest: who can pronounce such words – of course, I didn’t win :)
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        • Patrick Griffin
          September 1, 2012 at 3:34 am #

          Hi Cristian,
          I am glad you like the words and well done for having a go at pronouncing them. I only tried it with one of them!

  2. Michael Davis September 3, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

    I truly learned something new from this post. Really amusing post!
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