Word of the week: Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis

Ollie Burton is enraged by the longest word in the dictionary

NUSU
30th November 2015

This word irritates me deeply. There is no reason for it to exist as far as I can tell other than to be the longest word in the English language. What it actually describes is a lung disease caused by inhalation of very fine particles of ash or sand, resulting in inflammation or scarring; artificially derived, nonetheless, by the President of the National Puzzlers’ League in 1935. Must have been a slow week on the crossword front.

Do you feel enriched now, enlightened?

I thought not. My inner etymologist burns with rage. As does the rest of me.

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