It is an exceptional case but still worthy of attention, I feel.

Currently on EL&U, there is a question about a single word in Joyce's novel, “Finnegans Wake”

Meaning of “bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonnerronntuonnthunntrovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthur-nuk!” The title is so wonderfully long, a scrollbar is necessary in order to read it in its entirety.

vertical scrollbar and EL&U question title cut off

The post in its full version

enter image description here

I am using Chrome, version 84.0.4147.105., the font is enlarged to 110% but the "problem" persists if reduced to its original size.

If there is a maximum number of characters allowed in a title, as I imagine there must be, why should a scrollbar appear? Is there a solution so that a scrollbar is not needed?

Searching through the Meta archives revealed that a question title cannot contain more than 150 characters: "Title cannot be longer than 150 characters" - why doesn't the field have an input limit or a character count then?

The EL&U title is 115 characters long, so well within the limit, but the title breaks after the hyphen in “thur-” Theoretically, does that mean a title consisting of 150 characters with no spaces or punctuation marks would not be interrupted?

title breaks at “thur-”

(The EL&U theme fails to keep pace as the single-word rolls on undisturbed.)

Related: Length limit for question titles that have nothing to do with Unicorns (we don't really need that many characters just for the title, do we? Isn't that what the question body is for? Some lower length limit would help here. Seriously.)

  • 2
    That's a hilarious edge case. Thinking at first that you were the one who posted that question, I was about to ask if you did it just to create/check this bug :-) Commented Sep 4, 2020 at 10:49
  • 2
    I am SO tempted to edit that word into the question but I'll behave :D Commented Sep 4, 2020 at 12:41
  • 2
    Related: Longest word in English (but the name of the longest known protein (molecular mass of 3.8 MDa) is contrived). Third place in the list (182): Lopadotemachoselachogaleokranioleipsanodrimhypotrimmatosilphiokarabomelitokatakechymenokichlepikossyphophattoperisteralektryonoptekephalliokigklopeleiolagoiosiraiobaphetraganopterygon Commented Sep 4, 2020 at 16:43
  • Longest word in a major dictionary: Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis Commented Sep 4, 2020 at 16:47
  • 1
    Not quite "exceptional", but easy to fix: justmarkup.com/articles/… or css-tricks.com/snippets/css/…
    – Rob
    Commented Sep 4, 2020 at 17:39
  • 1
    Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu Commented Sep 4, 2020 at 21:02
  • Seven upvotes...lemme guess, German users:) Commented Sep 5, 2020 at 3:50
  • 1
    Wikipedia's webpage on compound words: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compound_(linguistics)
    – Rob
    Commented Sep 5, 2020 at 4:29
  • Should we really cater to nonsense words? Better just not stick them in the title. This is too edge case to deal with.
    – Luuklag
    Commented Sep 7, 2020 at 7:21
  • 1
    @Luuklag well, look at it this way, the layout or CSS (or whatever is at fault, I'm not a programmer) should have prevented this from happening in the first place. There are formulas, geographical locations, scientists, authors with extremely long names that could appear as the fourth or fifth word in a title, would that long word begin on a new line or just continue uninterrupted? Commented Sep 7, 2020 at 12:34
  • Hi Mari-Lou A. This issue still persists, but the question was migrated to Literature.SE (3 days later). So you might want to update your post to reflect this change.
    – Justin
    Commented May 18, 2022 at 18:09
  • @Justin I'll just leave it, thanks. The site EL&U is mentioned several times, that is where I first saw it. What's more I cannot be asked to upload a new updated screenshot. Anyway, I clicked on the link and was transported to Literature, so all is fine. Commented May 18, 2022 at 18:26
  • 2
    @Slate any details about the "behind the scenes" here? I mean, three years ago it was marked as "we're going to do it", so what happened? No answer or comment was provided when it was done though. Commented Jul 9 at 14:04
  • 2
    @Shadow I see that a pull request containing a set of changes was rejected and the Jira ticket does not have further activity. The individual who drafted the initial change set is not currently an employee at Stack Exchange. I'm leaving a note to myself to follow up later, but changed the status, because [status-planned] is incorrect.
    – Slate StaffMod
    Commented Jul 9 at 14:37


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