Strengthlessnesses—Longest Word With One Vowel

Wordy Wednesday!

Welcome to Wordy Wednesday! Did you know that strengthlessnesses is the longest word containing only one (albeit very repeating) vowel? Neither did I. And I don’t really care for it. I mean, it is cumbersome to say–and that is a whole lot of e’s and s’s to remember to spell the crazy word.

But I love unique and unusual–and strengthlessnesses is definitely both of those! Here are some vitals about this “longest word containing only one (albeit very repeating) vowel”:

1. It is a noun–did you know that when a word ends in ness, it is almost always a noun? This helps with standardized testing greatly. Ness words are nearly always nouns, so in a “fill in the blank” type of assignment, if the word in question ends in ness, it has to go in a spot where a noun fits.

Tricky Trick to Help It Stick: We have students learn key words to remember things. For instance, to remember that ness words are nearly always nouns, memorize a key word or two that you know is a noun and that ends in ness.

Other ness nouns: happiness, hopefulness, craziness, gratefulness, joyfulness, smartness

2. It has to do with having strength–we teach our students to think about what you already know–anytime–but especially when approaching a new word. Is there anything about the word strengthlessnesses that you already know?
     a. You know what its base means. You already what strength means!
     b. You know that less means less or not having that quality. (We do a lot of root and affix studies here!)
Because of those two “things you already know,” you can know that strengthlessnesses has something to do with not having strength (i.e. less strength).

Note: You know more than you think you know! Repeat this over and over to yourself: “I know more than I think I know. I know more than I think I know.” Use what you know to learn more!

3. It can be spelled syllable-by-syllable (if you are a biphonic man or biphonic woman!): strength-less-ness-es.

4. You can also make up a trick to remember how to spell it, such as “It contains four e’s and six s’s. Or that it has four syllables–which tells you that it will have at least four vowels in it (or y’s acting like vowels)–because a syllable always contains at least one vowel. A vowel is what makes a syllable!

5. You can learn the variations of this word–because you can remember from your vocabulary studies with Language Lady that suffixes (affixes added to the ends of words) might change the SPELLING of the base word (pity is changed to piti in pitiful) but does not change the MEANING of the base word. Even with three suffixes added (less, ness, and es), the base word of strength still means strength.
             a.  stengthless–adjective meaning without strength (less words are often adjectives!)
             b. strengthlessly–adverb meaning without strength (ly words are often adverbs)
             c. strengthelessness–a noun describing someone or something that is without strength (ness words are often nouns)
            d. strengthlessnesses–a noun that means more than one someone or something that is without strength (es makes the word plural).

So there you have it–the longest word with only one repeating vowel. Did you know that you could learn so much from one word? You know a lot more than you think you know! Smile…


day 111: “catch phrase”

I love a new site I just discovered–and thought any wordy people (or anyone writing practically anything–letters, thank-you notes, stories, essays, etc.) would enjoy hearing about it.

It is called Phrase Up–and I give it a hearty thumbs up! This amazing “search engine” allows you to type part of a phrase (colloquialisms, analogies, metaphors, or just common phrases) and put an * in the parts that you are missing. Then voila! It brings up a list of possible phrases that you  might be looking for. (Watch out! It’s addicting for wordsmiths!)

Again, this may be a great help to get just the right phrase or tone in a cover letter or thank-you note. To get the perfect metaphor for a story. And so much more. I think you’ll like it!

day 62: merriam webster online

Want to share a super source for those helping kids with homework, reading a difficult book, teaching…well, really, anybody. It is Merrriam Webster’s Online Dictionary.

Some of the features we like:

1. Type in any word–it finishes them for you (for those who say, “I can’t use a dictionary if I don’t know how to spell the word to begin with”!)
2. Type in any word and get the definition
3. Type in any word and click “thesaurus” to get synonyms and even some antonyms
4. Click on the speaker and listen to someone say the word–we do this every week before we give spelling tests to ensure that we are pronouncing harder words correctly for our students
5. Links at the bottom of the dictionary page for each word with more sites, etymologies, and much more!

Trust me…you will love Merriam Webster Online!

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