That’s a big word

The word “floccinaucinihilipilification” shows up today in Matt Ehlers’ story about a rock ‘n’ roll camp for girls. One of the campers, Emma Hurlbert, 11, suggested the word as the name for a rock group. The girls decided on the name Useless Trivia, a meaning of floccinaucinihilipilification.

As I copy-edited the story Monday morning, I searched for the word with Google and found a couple of interesting explanations. At World Wide Words, Michael Quinion explains the origin of floccinaucinihilipilification. A page on the BBC site also breaks down the word and also shows how to pronounce it.

As a copy editor and lover of words, I was thrilled to read about a preteen girl who found a word pretty. That story, by the way, has a slide show with sound. No one sings floccinaucinihilipilification, though.

This article was originally posted by the Raleigh News & Observer, a subsidiary of The McClatchy Co.; is posted here to provide continuity; and is copyright © 2011 The News & Observer Publishing Company, which reserves the right to remove this post.