18 February 2013

Prententious Word: Preantepenultimate

I recently learned a new word. However, it damned sure is not new. James Taranto used "preantepenultimate" in his 13 February 2013 WSJ article, The House of His Dreams, about POTUS O.

One source claimed 1746 as the earliest documented use of "preantepenultimate." Now it is considered obsolete. After 267 years this convoluted word deserves to be retired.

It's easier to say "fourth from last" and one is not forced to check the dictionary to learn the meaning.

I had neither seen it, nor had I heard it spoken. Does WSJ require their writers to be so pretentious? One cannot help but wonder.

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