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Word of the week: Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis

November 30th, 2015 | by NUSU
Word of the week: Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis
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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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