Shakespeare had a go at at the longest word in the English language with “honorific-abilitude-in-i-tat-i-bus.” If you play the game of stacking suffixes and prefixes together, you can get “antidisestablishmentarianism,” one letter longer for a total of 28 letters. But the longest word by far appeared in 1964 in Chemical Abstracts, a dictionary-like reference for chemists. The word describes a protein in what’s called the tobacco mosaic virus, and it runs 1,185 letters long. Besides being too long to write here, it tells us a lot about the unusual chemistry of carbon.Credits
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