Floccinaucinihilipilification: Tharoor describes new book on Modi

Floccinaucinihilipilification: Tharoor describes new book on Modi

Tharoor appears to have caused a spike in Google searches for an obscure English word that is longer than some sentences.



The Thiruvananthapuram MP says his new book, ‘The Paradoxical Prime Minister’ is “more than a 400-page exercise” in floccinaucinihilipilification. (Photos: Reuters)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Congress MP promotes new book: The Paradoxical Prime Minister
  • A profilic writer with a superb command of English, he sometimes uses obscure or difficult words
  • Farrago and rodomontade are other examples

All Shashi Tharoor wanted to do was appetise readers with a Twitter blurb about his new book on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

But in doing so, he appears to have caused a spike in Google searches for an obscure English word that is longer than some sentences.

Floccinaucinihilipilification, the word Tharoor used, means “the action or habit of estimating something as worthless”. It is one of the longest words in English.

READ | What floccinaucinihilipilification means and how to pronounce it

And the Thiruvananthapuram MP says his new book, ‘The Paradoxical Prime Minister’ is “more than a 400-page exercise” in flok-si-naw-si-ni-hi-li-pi-li-cay-shun.

Searches for “floccinaucinihilipilification” began to spike at around the time Tharoor posted his tweet. (Screenshot: trends.google.com)

Tharoor’s book comes weeks before a round of state elections, including three in large BJP-ruled states, and months ahead of next year’s general election. He’s a Congress leader and a former minister of state in the UPA regime.

But politics isn’t Tharoor’s only forte. He is a prolific writer with a magisterial command of English — and his public pronouncements often show it.

He once decried a “exasperating farrago of distortions”, has described his encounters with victims of “Lalochezia“, but also said he doesn’t use “rodomontade” language — meaning “boastful or inflated talk”.

Perhaps you’re wondering if there’s even a word that’s longer than floccinaucinihilipilification. Yup: Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis.

Oxford says it’s a “supposed lung disease.”

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly described the pronunciation of the “pi” sound in floccinaucinihilipilification. There is no “ph” sound, as in the Hindi word “phal”.

WATCH | Phrases taken out of context: Shashi Tharoor on his ‘Hindu Pakistan’ remark

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