A coworker of mine sent me a link that is very interesting: Amazing Posts: Longest Words.
I knew some of these facts before reading the page, such as pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis being the longest word in the English language and redivider being the longest palindromic word (a fact I discovered when preparing a lesson on palindromes for seventh graders last fall). Others were facts I hadn’t even considered because the criteria simply never occurred to me (the longest word consisting solely of alternating consonants and vowels?).
A note in addition: A few commenters note that it is not strictly true that spoonfed is “the longest word with its letters arranged in reverse alphabetical order” under the conditions that seem to be implicitly involved in the determination. Spoonfeed would seem to fulfill that description if one assumes that consecutive double letters do not violate the reverse alphabetization, which must obviously be assumed if one is to say that spoonfed meets the criteria. Kudos to the commenters who pointed out this error.
Teachers, students, or other interested parties: Would these facts fit into the language arts classroom? If so, how? What could students take away from these seemingly trivial facts that might enhance their view of language? I don’t know the answer, but I’d love to hear some opinions on the matter.