Discuss

48 Responses to “Russian man reads longest word in English language”

  1. jandrese says:

    What, they couldn’t toss another Methyl group on there or something to make an even longer word?  I don’t think it counts when your “word” is just a transliterated chemical equation. 

    • vonbobo says:

      From wiki: The full chemical name, which starts methionyl… and ends …isoleucine, contains 189,819 letters and is sometimes stated to be the longest word in the English language, or any language.[19][20] However, lexicographers regard generic names of chemical compounds as verbal formulae rather than English words.

      • ldobe says:

        Precisely, if you want the longest English word, by this definition, we can compound a word that contains all of the experimentally determined as well as theorized chemical compounds thought to be in the universe while organizing them by arbitrarily discrete descriptions of every object in the universe.

        Not a word any more than a recipe for cherries jubilee is a word.

        • noah django says:

          which buffers my thought:  numbers are words, numbers are infinite; if a chemical compound is admissible as a candidate for the longest word, there is a large number that has more syllables, I’m sure.

          • ldobe says:

            Wait, how do you write 151 in prose?
            I render it as “one hundred fifty one” which is multiple words. Or a less easily contested example: 100 one hundred.

            And now I’m thinking: we run out of names for orders of magnitude fairly quickly. The highest I can think of is decillion, but I’m sure there are formulaic names for higher orders of magnitude, perhaps something like uni/monodecillion, then dodecillion and so on. So I guess formulaicly generated names for numbers could be arbitrarily long, since there’s arbitrarily large numbers. But they’re not in the english lexicon any more than the Space Needle is a part of the Bejing Metropolitan Area.

            Then there’s scientific notation, where big numbers can be described verbally such as “ten raised to the decillionth power.”

          • noah django says:

            nuts.  i was thinking of the hyphenation rule for compound numbers, but after consulting my Harbrace, it only applies to numbers between twenty-one through ninety-nine.  so 151 is “one hundred fifty-one,” but to the larger issue, you’re completely right.  multiple words.  i will shut up now.

          • ldobe says:

            noah django
            Why shut up when we’re having a pleasant discourse?
            (Caveat, it’s 2:24 AM in my timezone, so I’ll be sleeping, most likely if you reply)

          • July Eccles says:

            This recitation is so inane it may as well be of a long number, as far as I’m concerned.

          • Wreckrob8 says:

            But in German four hundred and twenty-four would be vierhundertvierundzwanzig.

    • chenille says:

      Also, they’re international names. So if you did have some reason to count this as the longest word in English, it really ought to be the longest word in Russian, too.

      • dtakt says:

        Hm, no. Well, I don’t speak russian very well but most languages have translations of chemical moietys/functional groups. In swedish for example, methyl translates to metyl  and thus is shorter.

  2. Karnzarnit says:

    And that, kids, is the incantation to summon an Eldritch Horror!

  3. swankgd says:

    There’s something fishy about potted flowers that wilt and going from clean-shaven to 7:45 shadow in just 3.5 hours.  

  4. dnebdal says:

    I’ll admit I skipped ahead to the end. Bonus detail: He grows an admirable amount of beard in those three hours.

  5. That’s ridiculous, there’s no limit to an IUPAC name. 
    Like the polypeptide name in the article, they can be of any length.

    • serpent says:

      Considering this is one of the largest known proteins, this might not be possible. Of course you can construct a longer polypeptide chain, but it would not be the same. However, I’m curious, did he recite the name of human titin (34,350 aminoacid residues) or its mouse homologue (35,213 aa) or even the naked mole rat (36,507).

  6. DevinC says:

    “Okay, before we hire you on here at Prolix Labs Inc., what’s your typing speed in words per minute?”

    “Err…0.00145?”

    “Great!”

  7. Steve Ryan says:

    When I was a kid, I ran across pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis in the dictionary, and I still remember it. Like this one, though, medical terms don’t really seem like legitimate contenders for the “longest word” title.

    • Bryce Caron says:

       My old man made my siblings and I memorize that when we were 7 or 8. That was after we learned antidisestablishmentarianism. I say “made” but we were all happy to do it. Indentured nerditude and all.

    • Gyrofrog says:

      Yeah, I used to impress almost everyone with that one…

    • Beanolini says:

      I still remember it.

      Me too. I also memorised Aristophanes’ fricassee (183 letters), but I can’t remember more than about a third of it now…

    • Wreckrob8 says:

      For kids in the UK after antidisestablishmentarianism and floccinaucinihilipilification (both in the OED but not Websters) you can try memorising the Welsh place name Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch (if you can work out what all those w’s and l’s are doing). Something to do on the long, boring car journey to Wales.

      • And speaking of names, let us not forget about ol’ Adolph Blaine Charles David Earl Frederick Gerald Hubert Irvin John Kenneth Lloyd Martin Nero Oliver Paul Quincy Randolph Sherman Thomas Uncas Victor William Xerxes Yancy Zeus Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorffvoralternwarengewissenhaftschaferswessenschafewarenwohlgepflegeundsorgfaltigkeitbeschutzenvonangreifendurchihrraubgierigfeindewelchevoralternzwolftausendjahresvorandieerscheinenwanderersteerdemenschderraumschiffgebrauchlichtalsseinursprungvonkraftgestartseinlangefahrthinzwischensternartigraumaufdersuchenachdiesternwelchegehabtbewohnbarplanetenkreisedrehensichundwohinderneurassevonverstandigmenschlichkeitkonntefortplanzenundsicherfreuenanlebenslanglichfreudeundruhemitnichteinfurchtvorangreifenvonandererintelligentgeschopfsvonhinzwischensternartigraum, Senior!  Now there’s a long name.

    • One also runs across this as pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcaniosis, by which form I became acquainted with it in my youth.  I find the version you cite rather long-winded, frankly.

  8. Bauart says:

    This will make a GREAT bar trick… “Hey, I’ll bet you $100 bucks you can’t sit and watch this guy say the longest word, and not want to kill yourself!”

  9. What ever happened to antidisestablishmentarianism?

  10. Seg says:

    Great, now everyone knows my password. :(

  11. taras says:

    From the pronunciation, he is actually saying it in Russian, not English.

  12. machinestate says:

    3:15:42, missed a valyl

  13. TC Teo says:

    cute. 2:09:22 clip is spliced and the plant instantaneously wilts

  14. E T says:

    In Englis?

  15. cwthomas says:

    In Mother Russia… We make those who speak out read really long and complicated English words, without water!

  16. MashTheStampede says:

    In Russian, it occasionally sounds as if he’s saying the words for (in the male sense) “spilled” and “tired out”.  

  17. zombiebob says:

    I just had a mini-seizure listening to that

  18. Shnatsel says:

    In fact he’s saying that word in Russian (I can tell – I’m Russian), but chemical names are almost international because they’re derived from Latin roots.

  19. miasm says:

    I wonder at what point the lexical information density of a word passes the threshold of complexity necessary to support a conjunctive interpretation representing a virtual environment capable of supporting thinking entities which can in turn utter words of… ah nevermind.

  20. Jonathan Roberts says:

    With words like that, it’s a wonder scientists get any work done.

  21. robcat2075 says:

    pfff… Warhol was doing that in the 60’s.

    Impressed by commenters’ self-restraint in not mentioning Monty Python’s longest name sketch…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UDPqB9i1ScY

  22. The longest word in the English language in common usage, I’ve read, is characteristically, though I’ve been to some neighborhoods where this is likely not the case.

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