Thursday, December 23, 2010

Floccinaucinihilipilificating Molly

According to Wiktionary, floccinaucinihilipilification is "often cited as the longest non-technical word in the English language, being one letter longer than the commonly-cited antidisestablishmentarianism."

I've heard of antidisestablishmentarianism. It was used to hilarious effect in a commercial a while back. It's a fun word.

Until I drew floccinaucinihilipilification from the WordADay December word bank today, I'd never even dreamed of such a word. Now a part of my reality, I'm incredibly frustrated by this word. It's got me finger-tied. I've been trying to type this post since early this afternoon, but can't fully wrap my head around how to use floccinaucinihilipilification in a sentence (other than sentences like that). Probably because it's a word that's rarely genuinely used.

The word means "The act or habit of describing or regarding something as unimportant" and was, apparently, created in the 18th Century by a group of students at Eton who 'simply' combined a variety of synonymous Latin roots (all have something to do with 'nothing') probably for the express purpose of creating a word longer than antidisestablishmentarianism (by one letter, natch). Those crazy kids! Where would we be without them?

Speaking of crazy kids, I guess we experience floccinaucinihilipilification around here more often than I intially thought.

Mini-Me often floccinaucinihilipilificates when we tell him to stop goofing off at the dinner table, stop jumping on the furniture, stop waking The Wubster up when we let him go to bed in his own room, stop goading The Wubster into getting himself in trouble, stop splashing water out of the tub, stop, stop, stop, stop, STOP!!! Looking at it this way, those four letters may be the root of his floccinaucinihilipilification. I'll have to ask our pediatrician.

It was pretty embarassing  and I'm not sure I should admit it on this blog, but I caught The Wubster floccinaucinihilipilificating in his room yesterday. The door was closed and I didn't knock, so it's my fault, this all could have been avoided, but when I opened his door, there he was floccinaucinihilipilificating in his closet. He was supposed to be napping and I'd told him that several times since putting him in bed, but he still got out of bed and floccinaucinihilipilificated.

I'm just glad it was me who walked in on him and not his mother...that would have been mortifying.

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