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 Post Posted: Thu Oct 28, 2021 12:27 pm 
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So what's the longest word in the English language? Antidisestablishmentarianism. Really? Pardon me while I put down my beer...

So, several hundred years ago the King of England, one Henry the 8th, wanted to establish a national church for England. Those in favor were establishmentarians, those opposed were disestablishmentarians. Now since the chief establishmentarian was the king, there was some political gain to be had by being seen as specifically opposed to those that didn't like the idea (as distinct from merely being in favor of it); and these political opportunists were the antidisestablishmentarians. So far so good. Then some grammarian jackass came along and decided to pretend that these opportunists had a concrete doctrine; and so added the suffix -ism to create the then longest word: antidisestablismentarianism.

But of course, all doctrines come from somewhere; and in this case the precursor would have been protoantidisestablishmentarianism. But what if there were several similar, but not quite identical doctrines to that precursor? Well, then they would have been quasiprotoantidisestablishmentarianisms. But heaven forefend that there was a doctrine pretending to be one of those collateral precursor doctrines: for it would have been a pseudoquasiprotoantidisestablishmentarianism. Unless it wasn't really well enough defined to fully meet that standard, in which case it would merely have been pseudoquasiprotoantidisestablishmentarianismish. And let's hope that mushy spurious doctrine never became a dogma; or someone espousing a variant would be persecuted for their pseudoquasiprotoantidisestablishmentarianismish heresy.

There. 19 letters longer, and I even used it in a sentence. Let me reclaim my beer. And so we see that the correct answer to the question of what's the longest word in the English language is pseudoquasiprotoantidisestablishmentarianismish; and that this will be true until the next grammarian jackass who sees this decides to take up the challenge and make it even longer.

So I guess the real answer to the question of what's the longest word in the English language is: there is none. Whatever you can come up with, someone else can make longer. And to those who object to what I just did here, I bid you to take it up with that long dead grammarian jackass who pretended that political opportunism of a specific sort had a formal doctrine: he started it.

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 Post Posted: Thu Oct 28, 2021 6:26 pm 
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o_0

Wow, I think Were just started a Random Silliness thread. I never thought I'd see the day.

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 Post Posted: Sat Oct 30, 2021 2:50 am 
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Such is a very long word in the English language, yes. But the English language is operating at a disadvantage here; you can only stack prefixes/suffixes onto a word. And yes, you can stack multiples of these... but you can't just mash entire words together.

Let's consider another language for a moment - Afrikaans. In Afrikaans - well, let my put it this way. There is a place called Tweebuffelsmeteenskootmorsdoodgeskietfontein. (Seriously, you can find it on Google Maps) Translated, that works out to "Two-buffalo-with-one-bullet-shot-dead-as-doornails-Springs". That's only a very few letters short of pseudoquasiprotoantidisestablishmentarianismish; and it's trivial to make it longer. "Tweebuffelsophierdieplaasmeteenskootmorsdoodgeskietfontein" (or "Two-buffalo-on-this-farm-with-one-bullet-shot-dead-as-doornails-Springs") would be equally valid.

You can pretty much throw arbitrary words together to make an arbitrary compound word, and then use that as a place name. To make a longer word in English takes work. To do so in Afrikaans takes just gluing any sufficiently long phrase together.

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 Post Posted: Sun Oct 31, 2021 1:31 am 
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And then there's German...

Although, probably the scariest word that I know in Afrikaans is "ratel" Which according to Lawdog is slang for honey badger.

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 Post Posted: Mon Nov 01, 2021 3:42 pm 
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Well, Afrikaans is pretty close to being 18th-century Dutch, so it probably has some roots in common with German. Grammatically, if nothing else

It seems that 'Ratel' is English for 'honey badger', though. Either that, or English has done as English will and swiped the word.

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 Post Posted: Mon Nov 01, 2021 10:06 pm 
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Yeah I've never heard that word, I think we swiped it.

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 Post Posted: Wed Nov 03, 2021 1:38 am 
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I just know the story in the link that I shared, which is a link to a set of links since it was a six parter.

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 Post Posted: Wed Nov 03, 2021 8:00 am 
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I don't recall having ever heard of the word 'ratel' before having seen it in here, and I speak both English and Afrikaans. (Though my vocabulary is a tonne better in English)

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 Post Posted: Mon Nov 08, 2021 1:27 pm 
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We need to get someone fluent in Welsh in on this discussion. Those guys have some long words, IIRC.

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 Post Posted: Wed Nov 17, 2021 6:08 pm 
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Well, I suppose we could look for a language that has a shorter grammatically correct sentence than 'No.' That might be idly amusing.

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 Post Posted: Fri Nov 19, 2021 4:53 am 
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I think that English has Afrikaans very thoroughly beaten on this one.

The exact equivalent sentence in Afrikaans would be "Nee!" (one letter longer). There aren't many one-letter words (english "I" becomes "Ek") and the only one that comes immediately to mind is "'n" (pronounced as a short ah sound) which is the indefinite article (english "a") and thus in no way a complete sentence on its own.

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