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#7720 - 10/12/00 04:51 AM A thread of no importance
shanks Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/16/00
Posts: 1004
Loc: London, UK
Has anybody ever used floccipaucinihilipilification in speech or writing? Or even seen it used? (Dictionaries and Guinness Book excluded.)

I've always wanted to do so, but have never had the appropriate excuse.

cheer

the sunshine warrior


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#7721 - 10/12/00 05:08 AM Re: A thread of no importance
jmh Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1981
Looking at our own archives (I remember it well):

Date: Thu May 15 00:02:46 EDT 1997
Subject: A.Word.A.Day--floccinaucinihilipilification
X-Bonus: I think there is a world market for maybe five computers. -Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1958

floccinaucinihilipilification humorous. [f. L. flocci, nauci, nihili, pili words signifying `at a small price' or `at nothing' enumerated in a well-known rule of the Eton Latin Grammar + -fication] The action or habit of estimating as worthless.

1829 SCOTT Jrnl. 18 Mar., They must be taken with an air of contempt, a floccipaucinihilipilification [sic, here and in two other places] of all that can gratify the outward man.

Apparently Scott used it three times but I've not found the other two yet. I have used it approximately 0 times.


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#7722 - 10/12/00 05:39 AM Re: A thread of no importance
shanks Offline
old hand

Registered: 03/16/00
Posts: 1004
Loc: London, UK
So 'nauci' is correct, while 'pauci' is a sic?


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#7723 - 10/12/00 10:05 AM Re: A thread of no importance
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10525
Loc: this too shall pass
this word, I would estimate, is one of the most worthless that I ever sent out as a 'worthless word for the day'. in fact, it was word number 999 of my distribution, a fact which is totally draffy in and of itself. here's more shmata on the subject of floccinaucinihilipilification: it is reputably the longest word in the OED, one letter longer than that worthless chestnut we learned as kids (antidisestablishmentarianism), which was previously the longest word in the 1st edition. I will LIU tonight and post the undoutably naff citatations therefrom.

here's some additional trumpery: some disenchanted losel from the antidisestab. camp evidently coined the word pseudoantidisestablishmentarianism in hopes of getting the honor back in the 3rd edition of the OED.

here's a worthless disclaimer: *you try spell-checking this stuff...


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#7724 - 10/12/00 01:19 PM Re: floccinaucinihilipilification
belMarduk Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/28/00
Posts: 2891


nauci, pauci, the whole floccin mess is sic


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#7725 - 10/12/00 04:26 PM Re: A thread of no importance
Marty Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 09/20/00
Posts: 347
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Has anybody ever used floccipaucinihilipilification in speech or writing?

Yeah, I find it a great ice-breaker at parties.


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#7726 - 10/12/00 05:49 PM Re: A thread of no importance
tsuwm Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 04/03/00
Posts: 10525
Loc: this too shall pass
citations from the OED; the 2nd I assume to mean that the word was given definition therein:

1741 Shenstone Let. xxii. Wks. 1777 III. 49, I loved him for nothing so much as his flocci-nauci-nihili-pili-fication of money. 1816 Southey in Q. Rev. XIV. 334. 1829 Scott Jrnl. 18 Mar., They must be taken with an air of contempt, a floccipaucinihilipilification [sic, here and in two other places] of all that can gratify the outward man.

the sic annotation I take to mean that Scott used the word incorrectly in the same journal 3 times -- it being judged incorrect because of the etymology of the word: flocci, nauci, nihili, pili - words signifying ‘at a small price’ or ‘at nothing’ enumerated in a well-known rule of the Eton Latin Grammar + -fication.



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#7727 - 10/13/00 08:03 AM Re: A thread of no importance
maverick Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 09/15/00
Posts: 4757
I have used it approximately 0 times

Forgive me oh wise one, but does this statement not come perilously close to the First Law of English Grammar:

All laws of English Grammar have exceptions, including this one


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#7728 - 10/13/00 08:08 AM Re: A thread of no importance
jmh Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1981
>I have used it approximately 0 times

As this was a thread of no importance, I thought I'd add a comment of no importance


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