Certain things can be counted without a parsing device, for example four-syllable words in rock n’ roll songs. I have often wondered why there are so many one syllable words in rock songs, and have a pet theory for this. Rock lyrics favor Anglo-Saxon words rather than Latinate words — the former have a more direct, less fussy sound — and since the Latinate words tend to be multi-syllabic compounds, multi-syllabic words (say, more than three syllables) tend to be very rare in rock music. Why exactly the monosyllable is appropriate to rock is something I cannot explain, although it may be related to another pattern I have observed: countries that underwent the Protestant Reformation seem to be the most adept at producing (not necessarily consuming) rock music, particularly heavy metal. Perhaps there is a connection here between Northern European linguistic practices (and the persistence of Anglo-Saxon forms) and the predisposition to religious violence in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, one that prepares these countries for immersion in a subsequent musical form like rock n’ roll.
In any event, I’d like to know what the longest Latinate word is that has been successfully used in a rock song. My candidate (based on popularity, not length) would be “satisfaction,” as in, “I can’t get no satisfaction.”