The Blog

Top 10 Letters

"The Passion," "Lost In Translation," chopped steak, Nasa, really long words, and more.

11:00 PM, Feb 29, 2004
Widget tooltip
Single Page Print Larger Text Smaller Text Alerts

The Hollywood love-fest surrounding Sofia Coppola and "Lost In Translation" seems inversely proportional to the overly-harsh treatment she received after her performance in "The Godfather III." (David Skinner, A Commoner's Complaint) The Coppola name surely can be used to push in either direction. David Lynch's daughter was soundly panned for "Boxing Helena," but if she were to ever create a masterpiece on her father's level, the praise of her genius would shortly follow.

--James Chisholm

*8*

Larry Miller might let his son know that antidisestablishmentarianism ("opposition to the disestablishment of the Church of England") is only 28 letters long (What Did You Say?).

Floccinaucinihilipilification ("categorization of something as worthless or trivial" and the longest word in the OED) is longer at 29 letters. Some claim that pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis: ("the miners' lung disease caused by inhaling silica"), at 45 letters, is longer, but others, including me, say this is merely a contrived, not real, word.

--Fred White

*9*

I remember the childhood discussions of antidisestablishmentarianism very well because my father was a professor of English Literature (Caltech) and he had a gay old time explaining it to me. He was right in his element. However, the one word that has stayed with me down through the years since I first heard it is hypersesquepedalianism.

Although shorter by six characters, this delectable word means "The extreme tendency to use overly long words." Does it get any better than that?

--Chris Smith

*10*

Another "Old School" coach who has returned to a high-profile coaching job is Bobby Ross. (Ed Walsh, The Greatest Generation of Coaches) A former head coach in the NFL (he took San Diego to the Super Bowl) and the NCAA (Georgia Tech won a national championship while he was the helm there), Ross has taken up the challenge of reinvigorating the storied football at the U.S. Military Academy.

--Scott Belliveau