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LINGUAPHILES & SESQUIPEDALIANS is a group for people who love languages, words, and grammar.

Members: 210
Latest Activity: Apr 12


LINGUAPHILES & SESQUIPEDALIANS is a group for people who love languages, words, and grammar.

The only requirement for joining this group is that you possess a modicum of interest in languages, etymology, grammar, punctuation, and pronunciation. You do not have to be erudite or scholarly; you do not have to be a linguist or grammarian. You just have to have the desire to learn new things about language, or share the knowledge you possess.

The purpose of this group will be to help us explore the diversity of language, hone our grammar and spelling skills, understand correct word usage, expand our vocabulary, explore language and word history, and find new ways to communicate.

How we talk about things is equally important as what we talk about. Language is a part of our thinking, speaking, and writing; it is mind, tongue, and hand. It is about how we relate to other people and understand the world around us. It is communication and the exchange of ideas. It is learning, empathy, history, and politics. It can persuade, disarm, conquer, cajole, unnerve, offend, shame, enrich, encourage, inspire, destroy, or sustain. It is all these things and more.

However, the emphasis of LINGUAPHILES & SESQUIPEDALIANS is not on writing and publication. If you are interested in these topics, please join the group ATHEIST WRITERS. That does not mean that you cannot ask questions about writing here, it is just that we are not trying to compete with the well-established writer's group. I simply recommend that you use your best judgment and post your discussion in the group that best fits the topic.

The focus here will obviously be on the English language, but it is not restricted to English only. Topics can include correct spelling and grammar issues, etymology, vocabulary and usage, language history and lexicography, dialects and idioms, trivia, and resources such as books and websites.

Books & DVDs:
The Adventure of English (DVD)
The Bedford Handbook
The Big Book of Beastly Mispronunciations
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
Fowler's Modern English Usage,
Globish: How the English Language Became the World's Language
Gossip, Grooming, and the Evolution of Language
Metaphors We Live By
Modern American Usage: A Guide
The Mother Tongue
The Mountain Man's Field Guide to Grammar
Philosophy in the Flesh
Speaking in Tongues: The History of Language
The Story of Human Language
The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature
There's a Word for It

Other A|N groups of interest:

Nexus Book Club
Atheist Librarians
Athiest Writers

External Links:
Wold Wide Words
Modern Language Association
Common Errors in English
The Global Language Monitor
Guide to Grammar and Style
The Elements of Style
How to Speak and Write Correctly
World Wide Words
Online Etymology Dictionary
The Rosetta Project
The Phrontistery
Charles Harrington Elster

Discussion Forum

Decline in writing accuracy.

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Grinning Cat Apr 12. 71 Replies

Wandering Words

Started by tom sarbeck. Last reply by Grinning Cat Dec 7, 2014. 5 Replies

One Letter Words, a Dictionary

Started by tom sarbeck Aug 7, 2014. 0 Replies

Emotionally loaded vowels

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Grinning Cat Aug 1, 2014. 1 Reply

Automatic captions and fiberglass growth factor

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Loren Miller Feb 23, 2014. 2 Replies

Changes to word meanings.

Started by Idaho Spud. Last reply by Dogly Feb 7, 2014. 4 Replies

Typos and Other Sources of Humor

Started by Glenn Sogge. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Nov 26, 2013. 162 Replies

Rape culture embedded in language

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Grinning Cat Mar 8, 2013. 1 Reply

Txtng and the future of English

Started by Grinning Cat Mar 3, 2013. 0 Replies

Two layers of language

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Feb 22, 2013. 0 Replies

Text-mining stylistic and thematic connections

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Steph S. Aug 28, 2012. 1 Reply

What makes a memorable quote?

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Tony Carroll May 10, 2012. 4 Replies

Alternatives to Christian language?

Started by UUMom. Last reply by Sarah Walton Apr 7, 2012. 16 Replies


Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by A Former Member Apr 6, 2012. 1 Reply

English speakers click?

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Feb 29, 2012. 0 Replies

The advantage of ambiguity

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Carl Pastor Feb 27, 2012. 5 Replies


Started by Andrew Mylko. Last reply by A Former Member Dec 22, 2010. 1 Reply

Is our every day language religiously based?

Started by Natacha Girardot. Last reply by Natacha Girardot Sep 27, 2010. 2 Replies

Throw Grammar from the Train

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Comment Wall


You need to be a member of LINGUAPHILES & SESQUIPEDALIANS to add comments!

Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on January 24, 2015 at 9:51pm

Comment by Grinning Cat on December 7, 2014 at 10:22pm

A very Atheist-Nexus-worthy footnote in Chip Kidd's foreword to Simon Garfield's Just My Type: A book about fonts: (ellipses mine)

Believe it or not, but as a child my first encounter with conceptual typography came from no less than the Bible. I was brought up in the United Church of Christ, a blessedly benign branch of the Protestant faith... and it just so happened that the text of our Bibles featured a very simple device... everything that Jesus said was printed in red*.... There was simply no mistaking who was declaring things like the meek shall inherit the Earth, Lazarus come forth! one of you will betray me, and so on.

* As you can see, this book is not a two-color print job, therefore I have semi-cleverly substituted what would have been red with bold face. The use of the imagination is encouraged, as it so often is in places of worship.

Comment by Bertold Brautigan on October 2, 2014 at 7:32am

A lovely turn of phrase--

Esquire columnist Charlie Pierce, a latter day Mark Twain if there ever was one, in excoriating the Boston Herald over a racist cartoon they ran, referred to

the entire squid cloud of weaselspeak that they threw up in their defense.

Comment by James M. Martin on September 26, 2014 at 6:53am
Well, here's to all of you embiggening cromulently.
Comment by Grinning Cat on September 26, 2014 at 12:25am

"Cromulent" is a perfectly cromulent word! :-) <-- with link to wiktionary; the word was coined for The Simpsons episode "Lisa the Iconoclast", as was "embiggen".

Comment by James M. Martin on September 25, 2014 at 10:43pm


Comment by Idaho Spud on September 25, 2014 at 6:39am

When I was in California in the 60s, a popular response to being thanked was "no sweat", and I was guilty of using it at times because it sounded humorous.

Comment by Grinning Cat on September 25, 2014 at 12:53am

James, it's a good thing that in English, unlike some languages, the standard way to acknowledge thanks isn't along the lines of "De nada!", "Don't mention it", "It was nothing", and so forth.

As far as youth culture coinages go, I'm more irritated by "Whatever!" in the sense of "I couldn't care less about what you just said."

Anyway, it's good to be in cromulent company! (Thank you, Natalie!)

Another question for fellow linguaphiles: do you see "bogosity" as a legitimate word, or does it possess a high degree of bogosity itself? (I picked it up from the Jargon File / Hacker's Dictionary.)

Comment by Bertold Brautigan on September 24, 2014 at 11:50pm

The cromulency of embiggening has embiggened.

Comment by Joan Denoo on September 24, 2014 at 11:44pm

Natalie, it is so great to have you posting again! And I just learned that you, too, are cromulent!


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