Ultimate – last, maximum, finest, not to be improved upon or surpassed
Penultimate – next to the last
Once upon a time, we had “ultimate”, “penultimate”, and a category known as “everything else”. Then, “everything else” started to get a bit crowded, and a new adjective was spawned:
Antepenultimate – third from the end
Okay, so there we had a 15 letter, six syllable word to use in place of a 15 letter, 4 syllable phrase that meant exactly the same thing. I guess that makes sense of a sort. The sort that comes in very handy when writing within specific word count limits. Just not the sort I choose to apply to my daily doings and about-townery.
Now it appears there are rumblings in certain circles to bring back into everyday use an obsolete little gem that takes this sort of sense just a bit further:
Preantepenultimate – fourth from the end
So keeping in mind that language is a fluid and constantly evolving thing, I just have one question:
Are you fucking serious?