The longest word in any given language depends on the word formation rules of each specific language, and on the types of words allowed for consideration. Agglutinative languages allow for the creation of long words via compounding. Even non-agglutinative languages may allow word formation of theoretically limitless length in certain contexts. Words consisting of hundreds, thousands, or even millions of characters have been coined with the goal of being ranked among the world's longest words; technical scientific terms can run to hundreds of thousands of characters in length. Place names may not be accepted on lists of longest words despite their length. Longest word candidates may be judged by their acceptance in major dictionaries such as the Oxford English Dictionary or in record-keeping publications like Guinness World Records, and by the frequency of their use in ordinary language.
A neologism (//; from Greek νέο- (néo-), meaning "new", and λόγος (lógos), meaning "speech, utterance") is a newly coined term, word, or phrase, that may be in the process of entering common use, but has not yet been accepted into mainstream language. Neologisms are often directly attributable to a specific person, publication, period, or event. Νεολεξία (Greek: a "new word", or the act of creating a new word) is a synonym for it. The term neologism is first attested in English in 1772, borrowed from French néologisme (1734).
A neologism may also be a new usage of an existing word, sometimes called a semantic extension. Cf. idiolect.
Word games and puzzles are spoken or board games often designed to test ability with language or to explore its properties.
Word games are generally engaged as a source of entertainment, but have been found to serve an educational purpose as well. For instance, young children can find enjoyment playing modestly competitive games such as Hangman, while naturally developing important language skills like spelling. Solving crossword puzzles, which requires familiarity with a larger vocabulary, is a pastime that mature adults have long credited with keeping their minds sharp.
An alphabet is a standard set of letters (basic written symbols or graphemes) which is used to write one or more languages based on the general principle that the letters represent phonemes (basic significant sounds) of the spoken language. This is in contrast to other types of writing systems, such as syllabaries (in which each character represents a syllable) and logographies (in which each character represents a word, morpheme, or semantic unit).
A true alphabet has letters for the vowels of a language as well as the consonants. The first "true alphabet" in this sense is believed to be the Greek alphabet, which is a modified form of the Phoenician alphabet. In other types of alphabet either the vowels are not indicated at all, as was the case in the Phoenician alphabet (such systems are known as abjads), or else the vowels are shown by diacritics or modification of consonants, as in the devanagari used in India and Nepal (these systems are known as abugidas or alphasyllabaries).