[ExI] chinese synthesis

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Mon Jun 3 23:51:54 UTC 2013

On 03/06/2013 23:04, BillK wrote:
> German is famous - or notorious - for making compound words, often to 
> describe something legal or scientific. They are known in Germany as 
> "tapeworm" words. 

The Swedish counterpart is ordmonster - literally word-monsters. 
According to Guinness the longest Swedish compound word is 
I actually used a variant of this when lecturing on hyphenation 
algorithms! ...that was likely the closest this word has ever come to 
being used for anything. Had it denoted something real (apparently a 
bureaucratic procedure within the material administration of a flight 
simulator for the northwestern coastal artillery) it would have been 
turned into an acronym or nickname, of course.

The longest word in the Swedish Academy Word List is merely 
realisationsvinstbeskattning (a form of tax, which is all too real). 
When playing Swedish Scrabble that word list is the official final 
arbiter, but this word cannot be written in Scrabble since it is too 
long for the board.

I like compound words. Most are not too complex, just two or three 
components joined together and with a tight semantic coupling. Nothing 
to be scared of.

Anders Sandberg,
Future of Humanity Institute
Oxford Martin School
Faculty of Philosophy
Oxford University

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