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Can 'floccinaucinihilipilification' still be considered a real word?

The only context that I have ever seen it used is as an example of one of the longest words in the English language.

Also how would you use it in a sentence?

Do we have to use literally in a context where estimating somethings value is being done, or can it be used more metaphorically where it is argued that something is meaningless (ie has no useful value (like arguing a word is useless)).

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closed as not constructive by simchona, FumbleFingers, Daniel, Mahnax, aedia λ Mar 14 '12 at 0:20

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What is the longest word in English?. I don't understand OP's "still be considered" - it never was "the longest" anyway. Also note that OED specifically notes it as a humorous coinage (first recorded 1741). –  FumbleFingers Mar 13 '12 at 22:24
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Floccinaucinihilipilification may well be an (artificially?) embiggened word but it's not especially cromulent. –  Hugo Mar 13 '12 at 23:50
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4 Answers 4

up vote 10 down vote accepted

Also how would you use it in a sentence?

I once did use it in a sentence. I was negotiating a deal for the sale of some baseball cards. The buyer was concerned that the cards might be fake. Another person looked over the cards, but I knew he tended to consider cards fake even if they were 100% genuine. (Natural variation on older cards can make them look 'trimmed' but the machines those days made irregular cuts and not all cards were the same size.) He pronounced a T204 Ramly trimmed (and thus worthless). I demanded he cease his floccinaucinihilipilification. The buyer snorted soda out of his nose.

I consider it one of the greatest things I ever said. Better than when I told an extremely ugly woman who was talking about how much she loved nature that I considered this surprising considering that nature clearly hadn't returned the favor.

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+1 for being able to pronounce it, much less use it in a non-forced context. –  J.R. Mar 14 '12 at 0:00
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I hope it didn't go all over the card. –  Jim Mar 14 '12 at 0:27
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In its entry on floccinaucinihilipilification, Oxford Dictionaries notes that "the word is used chiefly as a curiosity."

(Note the largely contrived attempts at usage here.)

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I think it would be wrong to flocci-pauci-nihili-pilificate the humourous possibilities of using the word. Then of course, it used to serve a useful purpose in preventing some other word from being the longest word in the Concise Oxford. –  Dominic Cronin Nov 20 '12 at 21:14
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Also how would you use it in a sentence?

Can 'floccinaucinihilipilification' still be considered a real word?

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Use, not mention. –  Joe Z. Jan 17 '13 at 14:07
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OneLook finds 15 dictionaries with English definitions that include the word floccinaucinihilipilification.

Etymonline has also an entry for it:

"action or habit of estimating as worthless," 1741, a combination of four Latin words (flocci, nauci, nihili, pilifi) all signifying "at a small price" or "for nothing," which were listed together in a rule of the well-known Eton Latin Grammar. The kind of jocular formation that was possible among educated men in Britain in those days. Just so, as in praesenti, the opening words of mnemonic lines on conjugation in Lilley's 16c. Latin grammar, could stand alone as late as 19c. and be understood to mean "rudiments of Latin."

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