Category Archives: language

Long Words Bonus #2: Titin

Last time, I talked about the protein tryptophan synthase A and how its “full chemical name” may be the longest “English” word ever professionally published in a book. (And I corrected the spelling of it.) But that “word” was just … Continue reading

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Long Words Bonus #1: Tryptophan Synthase

Quick, what’s the longest word in the English language? If you watched my recent video, you’ll know that in descriptivist terms, that is, how people actually use language in practice, it’s a tie between transinstitutionalization and superincomprehenibleness (both 25 letters). … Continue reading

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New Video: What Is the Longest Word in English?

The answer is probably not what you think. There are plenty of examples of “longest words” in various dictionaries, but most of them are curiosities that no one uses in real life. I’m looking for the longest words that are … Continue reading

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Follow-Up: Languages Mentioned in S2E3

In this week’s episode of A Reader’s History of Science Fiction, I talked about constructed languages, or conlangs. I listed the major ones I discussed in the description, but there were many more that I mentioned in passing, which I … Continue reading

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An Obstinacy of Buffalo Buffalo

Some Linguistic Ramblings If you study linguistics on a casual level, you may have previously encountered this sentence: “Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.” This is, in fact, a fully grammatical English sentence—and without any punctuation, at that. … Continue reading

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