Someone on facebook had a link to a grammar test. It seemed like a good excuse for some text. The first question is about the its/it’s quandary. This is one where the logical answer is incorrect. The second question is the same thing for who’s/whose. In this matchup, what you think should be correct actually is. Questions three (whether/weather) and four (your/you’re) were easy. You get the results immediately after submission. When you are correct, the test says “Yes! Great work!”
Five was a bit tougher. “The car beeped at Jon and I/me. Karen and I/me went on holiday.” In third grade, PG was taught to use I, rather than me. Could the placement of the nouns, before or after the verb, affect this choice? The only way to learn is to answer the question. PG answered I for both, It seems as though the correct answer, for the first sentence, is Jon and me. The site explains: “A simple way to test whether you’re using the right one is to think about whether a statement would still make sense if you removed the other person. You wouldn’t say, “The car beeped at I” so the correct pronoun is ‘me’.” When you are incorrect, the test says “Sorry, wrong answer!”
Six (years/year’s) and seven (that/which) required a bit of thought, but were answered correctly. By now, the test had a pattern. If the first sentence used one word, the second sentence used another. In question eight (have/of,) the test threw a curve ball. The logical answer for both sentences was have. However, the previous test questions had called for a split answer, that is to say, using a different word for both sentences. PG answered with of for the first sentence, which was the incorrect answer.
Nine (less/fewer,) ten (there/they’re/their,) and eleven (affect/effect) were easy. Twelve (i.e./e.g) was a bit of a struggle. PG seldom uses i.e., and cannot remember even reading e.g. The sentences were: “Some animals are really cute, e.g. kittens and puppies.The primary colours (i.e. red, yellow and blue) are my favorites.” PG made a lucky guess, and was correct.
Thirteen (hear/here) was a gimme. Fourteen (whom/who) is one of the things that drive writers crazy. The logical answer is to make both sentences use who. On a whim, PG answered one with whom. The sentences were: “Whom did you see at the bar last night? I can’t think who would have eaten all the doughnuts.” The explanation offered: ‘Whom’ is used when referring to the object of a sentence. Use ‘who’ when referring to the subject of a sentence. There’s a trick to help you remember: If you can answer with ‘he’, use ‘who’ (e.g. ‘he ate all the doughnuts’). If you can answer with ‘him’ use ‘whom’ (e.g. ‘I saw him at the bar’). Just remember that ‘him’ and ‘whom’ both end in the letter m.”
Fifteen (lie/lay) was a gimme. Sixteen (bored of, bored by, or bored with) was a lucky guess. PG used with and by, because they sound like correct usage. This gives a final score of 94. If credit is given for the curve ball on question eight, the score would be 97. The test is sponsored by Staples Canada. Various electronic devices are displayed at the bottom of the last page. “This Web site is intended only for use by Canadian residents. See International Sites. See our delivery policy for full details.” It is not known whether the rules of grammar are different south of the border. Pictures, from the lower forty eight, are from The Library of Congress.
It was six am on thanksgiving wednesday morning. PG was eating breakfast. In an hour and forty five minutes, it would be time to get on the road. This should be time to take the Mental Age Test, write about the test and the results, and do the other human chores needed to function in polite society. If not, then the post will be there this evening.
The test is multiple choice. The first question asked what birthdays are for. PG tries to ignore this day, and that was an option. The next four questions had no good answers, and required the least bad answer. If you recognize this, you get ten years added to your score.
Question five is whether baseball hats look better with the bill in front, or in the back. There is no qualification. If it it is raining water, then the bill keeps rain out of your eyes. If a flock of birds is overhead, then the bill keeps the droppings off a red neck. It is a case of situational ethics.
Politically, you are …Select from… Conservative ~ Green ~ Liberal ~ Socialist.
This is number six. What if you think these labels are dishonest red herrings? There is no good answer. For politics, this is appropriate.
You see someone fall over in the street. Do you … Select from… Laugh ~ Run over to make sure they are OK ~ Thank the heavens it wasn’t you ~ Shake your head and think ‘muppet’
There is not enough information given. You don’t know who the person is, how much they weigh, why he/she fell over, or what street it is. If it is I 85, then the person will be smushed into the pavement before you get to the side of the road. If it is Culduhsack Drive, then you pick them up, and ask if they are ok. If they don’t answer the situation is probably more serious than most people can deal with.
Before you skip over this, and go look at the pictures, (from The Library of Congress.) we will not be discussing all twenty questions. If you want to see them, there is a link above to the test. Question thirteen is something you might expect from a british test. It’s hot. You want an ice cream. You buy … Select from… A magnum ~ A cone with a chocolate flake ~ An ice lolly.
The ad below this question is for McCormick seasoning. When you click on the ad, a window comes up. It has a recipe for Italian meat loaf. Something says this would not go well with an ice lolly.
And so on and so forth. The final screen gives the answer. The device says “The My Mental Age Test Your mental age is 42.” The option to share on facebook is respectfully declined.
There is a show, Black Girls Rock. The idea is to showcase talented young ladies of color. The show is on BET, or Black Entertainment Television. A twitter hashtag, #blackgirlsrock, followed. Then, mysteriously, #whitegirlsrock appeared.
The white girls tag has not gotten a good response. Most tweets say that the white girl rockers are upset because they are losing privilege, or something like that. The ever correct Huffington Post has a feature, Why I’m Not Here for #WhiteGirlsRock.
PG had a flask of inspiration when he saw a tweet. @ArlingtonDiva LOL!! RT @jujoffer: White folks really made a hashtag called #whitegirlsrock …what’s next, A movie titled ’400 Years A Slave Owner’? @chamblee54 how do you know it was white people? @ArlingtonDiva The same way you know that I am black.
Do the producers of Black Girls Rock have the craft necessary to promote their show using a false flag twitter attack? Given the anonymous nature of twitter, there is no way to find out. Extra publicity for BGR seems to be the primary result of #whitegirlsrock. Pictures are from The Library of Congress.
There was a tweet. Perspicacious One @JessSmith_TPC LOLOLOL Can’t make this stuff up @EWErickson President’s Speech Defending Obamacare Nearly Kills Innocent Woman http://shar.es/ES3kQ. The link is to a story, President’s Speech Defending Obamacare Nearly Kills Innocent Woman. The medium is something called The Washington Free Beacon. Free Bacon is a typo.
TWFB has some interesting stories. When PG was a kid, his mother said story when she meant lie. One entertaining example is Pro-Iranian Regime Journalist Defends Controversial Tweet Former translator for Ahmadinejad called WSJ editor ‘Iranian House Negro’. The offending tweeter owns a fashion blog, the house of Majd. Rumors that Mr. Ahmadinejad is a model cannot be confirmed.
A more believable story is Netanyahu’s Mission: To Head Off Iran Sanctions Relief. The thought of a deal between Iran and the West is very troubling to Israel. An important distraction to the Palestinian tragedy would be removed by the rehabilitation of Iran. One interesting section of the story mentions 911 labor supplier Saudi Arabia. “Saudi Arabia, another key U.S. ally in the Middle East, is also deeply worried about any sign of a deal between Washington and the kingdom’s arch-rival, Iran.”
Free Bacon is the order of the day in the last story we will look at. USDA Celebrates Forcing Kids to Try Kale, Chard, Collard Greens. “The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) extolled a local elementary school in Poughkeepsie, N.Y. for making its students try broccoli gratin, Tuscan kale, and beet hummus, as an example of the department’s efforts to fight obesity.” Photographs today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.
The home page of Sommer+Sommer has text in German. They have an english language test, Which side of your brain is more dominant? They call it “The 30-Second Brain Test.” PG is a cracker, and took a bit longer. They should wait until after football season.
The test is kind of strange. The first question is a video of a dancer going in circles. You are given two buttons, The one of the left is counter clockwise, and the one on the right is clockwise. Next is “Choose the color, not the word. You have 4 seconds for each task.” The name of a color is on top, in all caps and no serif. There are two colors below, with the name of the color matching the text. You look at the text on top, and click on the correct color. It is not as easy as it sounds.
You then choose between some line drawings.” Of the following, which picture appeals to you most?” “This picture is most similar to … ” “Of the following, which picture best fits the theme of friendship?”
The next series of questions is a bit unfair. “Put your hand on your head. Which hand did you use?” If you are working the mouse with your right hand, you probably use the left hand. “Cross your hands over your chest. Which hand is on top?” “Cross your legs. Which leg is on top?” People working at a desk might find that one a challenge. “Look at an object and close one eye. Which eye is still open?”
PG took the test twice. The first time he gave honest answers. The second time he was taking notes, and gave dishonest answers. The results were the same both times. “Congratulations You use your brain equally.” You can click through to a page that explains the answers.
These daze, there is more media than messages. People need things to write about. One popular theme, at least in itp/otp, is lists about life in Georgia. A web facility that should know better, thought catalog, recently put out 25 Things You Need To Know About Georgia.
25TYNTKAG was written by Jeremy Populus Jones. He seems to be the CEO of something called GAFollowers. (@GAFollowers on twitter) From the fine print: “GAFollowers was created on a “strength in numbers” foundation, finding a creative way to use free online social networking sites to strengthen the “bond” between people in Georgia to help better form this state. … GAFollowers is one of the largest twitter accounts in the state of Georgia that spans nearly every corner of the region.”
These lists about Georgia life usally have a few common comments. There is the heat, the bugs, the traffic, the multiple Peachtrees, and southern accents. They seldom mention the shameless corruption, religious mental illness, rampant obesity, or racial pandemonium. Lets take a look at 25TYNTKAG. Mr. Jones will be in blue, and Chamblee54 in green. The photographs today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.
1. The weather here is just as inconsistent as your ex-girlfriend. Not really. It gets cold in January, hot in July. Your ex-girlfriend is staying out of this.
2. We call all interstates in Georgia, “The Highway”. Most people use the number.
3. Only in Atlanta is everything named “Peachtree” without a single tree with peaches around. Peachtree is all over OTP.
4. Terio and Honey Boo Boo were born and raised here. You couldn’t do this without google. Terio is a chubby kid who dances. Sometimes ignorance is bliss.
5. “Knuck if you Buck” is the song we will always get hype to no matter the age. Yuck.
6. White girls wear Nike shorts with big t-shirts covering their shorts. (How many can you spot?) Maybe there was a sale on big t-shirts at Walmart.
7. Zaxbys is what you eat. The TC comments said this is not accurate. They mentioned a certain spelling challenged company, that specializes in overpriced chicken sandwiches. At least the son of Mr. Zaxby doesn’t run off potential customers with his big mouth.
8. We call it a “rag” not a “washcloth”. Do people up north say a woman is on the washcloth?
9. Going outside at anytime during the summer instantly guarantees a minimum a 7 bug bites. This is mostly true. Who is counting?
10. In Georgia when someone ask, “Where you from?”, people usually reply with a county not a city. In Atlanta, when you say “Where are you from?” it is almost always somewhere outside of Georgia.
11. The speed limit is 65 mph but if you’re not going at least 80 mph you’ll be ran off the road. This is also true on surface roads. In hilly Atlanta, there are few places to pass on two lane roads.
12. In Georgia it’s not a shopping cart, it’s a buggy. Do people really say shopping cart? At Kroger it is a bascart. The stores have a bascart corral.
13. We get more inches of pollen in a week than inches of snow in a full year. Pollen season hits in early spring. It is rough for many people. The rest of the year gets relatively little pollen. There is a good ice/snow storm every ten years or so. This one is probably true.
14. You say Georgia, we say Jawja. Others say George-ah. To untrained ears they sound the same.
15. Sweet tea is our water. Very few people wash cars with sweet tea.
16. The night has been a success if you ended up at Waffle House. This is especially true if you are scattered, smothered, and covered.
17. In Georgia it’s necessary to look at the weather before picking out an outfit. Items this are a reason not to number lists. Just think of what you have to say, write it down, and hope it is not copyrighted.
18. We pray that we get snow during the winters. The people who pray for winter storms are merchants. They have an inventory of batteries, milk, ice, and eggs to sell.
19. We are the creators of, “Turn Up”. You can’t squeeze blood from a turnip.
20. Here in Georgia white girls can twerk. No Miley Cyrus. Ditto reaction to number 17. What was PG thinking of when he decided to do this post?
21. You will usually be 30 minutes away from just about every destination that you’re heading to. 22. There’s a Waffle House in walking distance of every Waffle House. These two have been combined, for obvious reasons. Do people proofread these lists before sending them out?
23. Any dark soda is simply called “Coke”. Many say Cocola, without the second syllable.
24. We pronounce it “Atlanna”. Whatever. Sometimes the second t is audible, sometimes not. It definitely is not the ATL, except to radio shouters.
25. Braves, Falcons & UGA are the teams we really care about. Tech fans may disagree. Ditto taxpayers, who don’t care is Rankin Blank gets a new stadium.
Sammy Snoutfair was given to pussyvans over his wonder-wench, Gnarlene. The latest set him to lunting crack, over the tortured realization that Gnarlene was a California widow. Sammy did not own the key to Gnarlene’s heart, just a weekend lease. He would groak as she ate a roadkill souffle’, and jirble a drink of the rankest rotgut. After dinner, Sammy tried to get Gnarlene into bed, and succeeded. He soon failed ignominiously in his manly duties.
The hot water heater was broken when Sammy chose to clean up. The curglaff when he jumped in the bathtub made him question, once again, his excuse for living. Soon Sammy remembered the good times, at the bar, playing team trivia. Sammy’s talents as a spermolger won his teammates, the men who say ni, pitcher after pitcher of beer. Since the bar was in the back of a pizza parlor, with a penchant for home made cheese, Sammy could add tyromancy to his talents. Sammy was so beef witted that he thought getting to cut the cheese was an honor.
The men who say ni lost at team trivia the night that Sammy learned the truth about Gnarlene. They became a crew of queerplungers, and all were duly rescued. The lake next to the pizza parlor was not very deep, and only the most beef witted would drown in it.
The same could be said about those concerned about their well being of the men who say ni. The people who rescued them were the Englishable gentry of the village. They were all as queer as a showroom of crochet bathtubs. The men who say ni were not without sex appeal, to a certain category of degenerate. It makes you proud to be British.
After the bout of queerplunging, Sammy was taken in by Armistead. When they tried to get into Armistead’s attic dwelling, the lock on the door refused the charms of the key. This residentialism was not unexpected by Armistead, who made an impecunious living as a bookwright. It paid better than being a soda squirt, even if the bennies were slow.
Sammy was also a burglar, and was able to install himself in Armistead’s attic dwelling. This was a good thing. There was a text message for Sammy when he checked his I phone. Careless Gnarlene was with squirrel, and saying that the baby belonged to Sammy. Zafty Armistead eagerly took responsibility for the pregnancy, and started to call abortion clinics. Sodomizing Sammy would have to wait for Gnarlene’s honor to be restored.
The vocabulary for this story was supplied by Death and Taxes. The enabling post was 18 obsolete words, which never should have gone out of style. Pictures are from Gwinnett County.
@BretEastonEllis I failed this: Bret Easton Ellis—Or Dr. Seuss? The Quiz. You can find curious things while trolling twitter. There really is a test comparing quotes from Bret Easton Ellis and Dr. Seuss.
There are seventeen quotes. They include: “You have brains in your head.” “The better you look, the more you see.” “We buy balloons, we let them go.” “I speak for the trees, for the trees have no tongues.” “These things are fun.” “But this road doesn’t go anywhere.” “There’s no use in denying it: this has been a bad week. I’ve started drinking my own urine.”
PG got fifty three percent correct. The one about drinking urine was properly credited to Mr. Ellis. Was he eating green eggs and ham? We don’t know. Rumors of people scoring less than zero have not been confirmed. The spell check suggestion for BretEastonEllis: Breastbones.
There is a bit of likeme trolling on facebook this morning. It is a link, Miley Cyrus Points Out Something Wrong With America — And She’s Absolutely Right. It is from a facility called upworthy. These missives usually have a popup ad, encouraging you to like uw on fb. The message today was a poll. “It’s nice to be reminded of the good in the world. And it should happen more often. I Agree I Disagree” PG clicked disagree, and was sent through to the headline post.
Miley Cyrus has gotten attention lately. She performed at an awards show, and got people excited. PG does not pay to watch TV, and missed the spectacle. Maybe this is the best approach.
The message from miss achy breaky heart is not that great. She says that some nasty things are on television, but you can’t say fuck. This is the same observation about double standards that has been around since the top half of Elvis was on the Ed Sullivan show. It is just as meaningless today as ever.
Calling someone a hypocrite is a cheap argument. Whenever someone says something, you can be sure that the standards of someone else are violated. Hypocrisy is in the eye of the beholder. Two wrongs do not make a right. Not everybody agrees with you. Pictures today are from “The Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University Library”.
There is an online quiz, Reveal Your Character! It is ten multiple choice questions. There is a statement, and you finish it with your selection. An example is question number three. My ideal job would be… A detective or an FBI investigator. ~ A skydiving instructor or some type of adventure leader. ~ The ultimate dictator of the world. ~ Helping those who are deprived. ~ Being in the military or as a spy. ~ What job? I do what I want!
At the end, you are told what literary character you most resemble. The answers don’t always fit, and PG found himself choosing the least bad answer several times. This is typical of online personality evaluations. This one had fewer bad choices than most such exercises. The fact the PG had not read the winning book does not help. You take the test and get the results.
You are Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. You are a visionary with grand ideas and courage to match. You are thoughtful and spend more time thinking about the future than the present. Pictures from “The Special Collections and Archives,Georgia State University Library”.
There is an amusing monolog on the innertubes these days. It is a grumpy old person talking about the old days. It starts out like this:
Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the older woman, that she should bring her own grocery bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment. The woman apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this green thing back in my earlier days.” The young clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations.”
Plastic bags ARE bad for the earth. There is a spot in the Pacific Ocean where non degradable junk collects. This saltwater trashpile is the size of the Atlantic Coast Conference, and, like the ACC, gets bigger all the time. It dribbles and shoots year round.
In a perfect world, people might bring their own bags, and those bags would be made of environmentally friendly materials. However, a lot of us are not that organized. A lot of those tote bags are made of materials that degrade the environment. And then there is the paper versus plastic dilemma. Yes, paper is a renewable resource, and is buddies with that part of the environment that is not downwind from a paper mill. The problem is that paper bags weigh a lot more than plastic bags. When you ship these bags from the factory to the store, you use more fuel to ship the paper bags.
Getting back to the battle of the generations, PG finds himself caught in the middle. He remembers black and white television, jim crow, and cigarettes smoked everywhere. There are a few things things the oldtimers seem to forget. It wasn’t that long ago that PG was a kid, and hearing people say they feel sorry for your generation. Now, PG is the old fogie, and can see the points made by both sides.
The first earth day was in 1970. The concern over the ecology was something that hippies did when the war in Vietnam started to wind down. A lot of these people … i.e. the ones who cared about the earth … are the old generation that the young clerk is fussing about.
“Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of the state of Montana. In the kitchen, we blended and stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap. Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn gasoline just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.”
In the fifties, gas powered lawn mowers were everywhere. Electric mixers were in a lot of kitchens. Just how old is this lady?
Black and white TV was not all that great. There were frequent breaks in the transmission due to technical problems. The sets had something called fine tuning. If that knob went a cat’s hair too far to the right, the picture tube would have a bunch of bars, followed by the picture, followed by a bunch of bars, followed by the picture. This kinetic parade would roll down the viewing area, until someone walked over to the tv and moved the fine tuning a cat’s hair to the left.
Meanwhile, someone in the living room was either lighting, smoking, or putting out a cigarette. Back in those days, people smoked whenever and whereever they wanted to. The idea of second hand smoke had not been invented. Even if it had, few would have cared. There were reports about lung cancer, but they were laughed off.
The lady in the photograph is white. This probably helps her memories of how good the old days were. In the pre civil rights era, people that were not white did not have it so good.
Here again, PG finds himself in the middle. In the early sixties, PG was horrified by the anti-black racism in Georgia. If you said that maybe negroes are not all that bad, you would hear about it for the next hour. These days, if PG does not vigorously condemn the racial attitudes of certain people, he is considered racist. Sometimes you just can’t win. Bullies will be bullies.
It is easy to make fun of political correctness. Sometimes people get carried away, and forget to look in the mirror. The thing is, all people are G-d’s children. Sometimes, what you thoughtlessly say can hurt someone. Which generation gets the credit, and the debit, for caring about their neighbors?
In a sense, the fifties were the test tube generation. Nuclear bombs were tested in the desert, with little regard for the radiation. Powerful drugs were coming on the market, and doctors were eager to prescribe them. The side effects became known later, after the damage was done. The gas guzzling cars spewed poison into the air, and no one cared. Maybe it was because the drivers were bombed. Drunk driving was not seen as a problem.
To be fair, many of the old ladies points are valid. The same is true of the young clerk. One day, if she is lucky, the young clerk will be the old lady. This is a repost.
During a recent facebook deterioration, on social issues, someone posted a 410 word statement. PG noted the promiscuous use of first person singular. A study ensued.
1- I, or verb contractions using I, occurs 27 times in this statement.
2- I was used in the first seven sentences. The eighth sentence did not have I, but did contain me.
3- The tenth sentence does not have I, but does contain my. These are the only two sentences without I.
4- The last sentence has I five times. The first two have I three times each. Six sentences use I two times.
5- There are 410 words in this statement. There are 15 sentences. Six percent of these words are I.
6- I is the shortest word in the English language. It is also possibly the least important.
Many people use the word I too often. The use of this word implies that the listener is interested in what the speaker thinks or does. When someone says I, the lips are usually moving. I is the central letter in both lie and believe. (As another FBF noted, I statements can be useful.)
This does not take away the controversy over what word, in the language, is the shortest. A British facility, the Daily Mail, ran a story,The shortest word in English? Depends on how you measure it
Q. We all know that the longest word in the English language is Floccinaucinihili-pilification, (Spell check suggestion:Oversimplification) meaning inconsiderable or trifling. But what is the shortest word in the English language?
A. This is a controversy that has divided the English-speaking community for more than a century. One faction, headed by Dr Robert Beauchamp from the Oxford English Dictionary, believes that the shortest word in the English language is ‘a’, while another faction, headed by Professor Melanie Kurtz from Chicago University, contends that it is ‘I’.
In his most recent book on the subject, Further Arguments In Favour Of A (OUP, £19.99), Dr Beauchamp claims that, though ‘I’ is arguably the thinnest word in the English language, ‘a’ is the shortest, in the sense that it is not as high.
Professor Kurtz, on the other hand, has argued in a number of pamphlets that, if one unravels the various loops and curls that form a single ‘a’, and stretch it into a single horizontal or perpendicular line, then the letter in question is undoubtedly longer than ‘I’.
Meanwhile, dissident scholars continue to argue the case for ‘o’ and for small ‘i’, though in broader academic circles the first is generally dismissed as not really a word and the second is felt to be questionable: they maintain that the gap between the little dot and the main body of the word/letter is a constituent part of the whole and cannot be discounted when it comes to the full measurement.
One of the comments is highly repeatable. “is it true…..the shortest sentence is ..I am. and the longest sentence…I do.?” – Tommy Atkins Blighty, 02/10/2009 18:45
In the digital age, capital letters are used less and less. If the lower case i is used as a first person singular, then it is both the shortest and the skinniest. The dot on the lower case i is known as the tittle. It is not known what the tittle thinks of the jot, or whether they believe each other.
For those not suffering platitude fatigue, here are the 21 Most Important Words in the English Language. The most important word: We ~ The two most important words: Thank You ~ The three most important words: All is forgiven ~ The four most important words: What is your opinion ~ The Five most important words: You did a good job ~ The six most important words: I want to understand you better ~ The least important word: I.”
A site called vocabula has a feature on the worst words in english. There are two phrases using I.
I mean Meaningless formula (a verbal tic, if you will) used habitually by many to begin nearly every sentence, especially those that are not intended to clarify anything preceding them. I need you to … A completely unacceptable replacement for “please.”
Since we cannot say, for certain, that I is the shortest word in the language, the uncertainty about the longest word should not be surprising. The longest word in German would be a short story by itself. According to Los Angeles Trade-Technical College “The longest word in the English language, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, is pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanokoniosis. The only other word with the same amount of letters ispneumonoultra-microscopicsilicovolcanoconioses, its plural.” (Spell check suggestion:ultramontane-microscopicsilicovolcanoconioses)
Part two of this feature is about a popular contender for the longest word. It is known here as The S Word. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. This is a repost.
There is a feature today on NPR discussing ” “What’s The Longest Word In The English Language?”. The old crowd pleaser antidisestablishmentarianism was dismissed as “Just a bundle of suffixes and prefixes piled up into a little attention-grabbing hummock.” It also has 28 letters, which won’t even get it into the playoffs.
When it comes to big words, there is nothing like science. In 1964, a book called “Chemical Abstracts” published a 1,185 letter word, referring to a protein found in the tobacco mosaic virus. It starts with glu and ends with sine. This word is 8.44 tweets long.
Words like glu…sine are not used often, which brings us to the obvious winner, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. It is the theme song for a dance routine in a movie starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke , and a few dozen animated characters.
According to the urban dictionary, Miss Andrews was not fond of Rob Petrie. “It’s reported that Ms. Andrews replied, “Fuck you! I hate you!! You’re a ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidouchebag’!!!! And get away from my door!! Why don’t you go eat “A Spoonful of Feces “!!!” (This problem might have been caused by SupercalifragilisticexpiHalitosis )
At 34 letters, the s word is the longest english word that most of us have heard of. While it probably was made up by over-imaginative songwriters, it is defined by a reputed dictionary. It translates as superkalifragilistikexpialigetisch (German), supercalifragilistichespiralidoso(Italian) and supercalifragilisticoespialidoso (Spanish). The French are too cool to use it.
A website called Straightdope has a highly entertaining feature called Is “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” a real word referring to Irish hookers? . “Our research first took us to a lawsuit that was filed after the movie came out by Life Music, Inc., against Wonderland Music, the publisher of the Mary Poppins song. It was a copyright infringement suit brought by Barney Young and Gloria Parker, who had written a song in 1949 entitled “Supercalafajaistickespeealadojus” and shown it to Disney in 1951. They asked for twelve million dollars in damages. The suit was decided in the Shermans’ favor because, among other reasons, affidavits were produced from two New Yorkers, Stanley Eichenbaum and Clara Colclaster, who claimed that “variants of the word were known to and used by them many years prior to 1949.”
The decision makes for fairly humorous reading. Apparently the judge got tired of writing out the whole word, so every time it had to be mentioned it was replaced by the phrase “the word” as if it were some loathsome artifact that had to be held at arm’s length. “
There is another story that has the s word appearing in a humor magazine at Syracuse University. An archivist named Mary O’Brien says that rumor surfaces every ten years or so, and is not true. Another old husbands tale has children in summer camps taught a song super-cadja-flawjalistic-espealedojus. This cannot be confirmed or denied.
As for the tale about Irish entrepreneurs , there is a story in Maxim magazine. It says “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, the word supposedly coined by Mary Poppins to make kids sound “precocious,” was actually invented by turn-of-the-century Scottish coal miners. It was used to request “the works” from prostitutes by men too shy to recite specific acts.” The link supplied by StraightDope does not work.