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

Members: 215
Latest Activity: 15 hours ago


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

Wandering Words

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

Quotes on Language

Started by A Former Member. Last reply by James M. Martin Nov 27, 2014. 60 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

Decline in writing accuracy.

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Grinning Cat May 4, 2014. 38 Replies

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

Sex Symbols

Started by A Former Member May 26, 2013. 0 Replies

18 obsolete words, which should never have gone out of style

Started by A Former Member. Last reply by A Former Member May 7, 2013. 7 Replies

A Man of Many Words

Started by A Former Member May 7, 2013. 0 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

Who dunnit? The not-so-insignificant quirks of language

Started by A Former Member. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Feb 24, 2013. 8 Replies

Two layers of language

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

Steven Pinker: Linguistics as a Window to Understanding the Brain

Started by A Former Member. Last reply by A Former Member Jan 5, 2013. 2 Replies

Text-mining stylistic and thematic connections

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

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 A Former Member on April 6, 2012 at 9:13pm

When you click on the "view all" button in the discussion box above, that'll take you to the discussion window. Featured discussions are just moved to the very top, and stay there until unfeatured.

Comment by Richard ∑wald on April 6, 2012 at 8:44pm

What does it mean when a discussion is "featured"?

Comment by A Former Member on April 6, 2012 at 8:06pm

"I could care fewer" (and other NGD musings)

Apparently I have completely lost my sensitivity to the Timeliness Mandate in which all true journalists believe. Am I rebelling against all those years of deadlines, or am I just slower on the draw these days? Whatever; I may be 10 days late (or 355 days early), but I’m still going to offer a couple of comments on National Grammar Day, since I was otherwise occupied when it rolled around way back on March 4.


First, of all the celebratory haiku and faux-haiku selected by the NGD judges in this year's contest, the one I found totally irresistible was a mischievous rebuke to humorless prescriptivism submitted by Tom Freeman (no relation!):

People shouldn't say
"I could care less" when they mean
"I could care fewer"

Words to live by. [continue]

Comment by A Former Member on April 6, 2012 at 8:01pm


Draft features essays by grammarians, historians, linguists, journalists, novelists and others on the art of writing — from the comma to the tweet to the novel — and why a well-crafted sentence matters more than ever in the digital age.

Comment by Alan Libert on February 27, 2012 at 5:34am

Hi everyone, I just joined this group. I am a linguistics lecturer in Newcastle, Australia, though I am from New York City.

Comment by A Former Member on November 14, 2011 at 1:31pm

My new favorite Wikipedia page: Latin Profanity.

Comment by A Former Member on October 8, 2011 at 6:59pm

Colour me prefixed Following up last week’s comments about words starting in en- and em- for imbuing something with colour, Andrew Palmer and Dave Cook supplied the first sentence of Thomas Hardy’s Return of the Native: “A Saturday afternoon in November was approaching the time of twilight, and the vast tract of unenclosed wild known as Egdon Heath embrowned itself moment by moment.”

Read more.

Comment by A Former Member on September 23, 2011 at 5:47pm
That is funny, but I am impressed at how erudite and courteous they are. If that has been posted on a US news site everyone would be accusing one another of being a socialist.
Comment by qıƃ ɟ ǝıɔɐɹʇ on September 23, 2011 at 5:06pm
re: linguaphiles at The Guardian, food fighting conundra, hahaha I love this shit
Comment by Keith Brian Johnson on September 22, 2011 at 1:24am
I hope it's only a *small* debate.  I understand wanting--and have argued for--the retention of standards of English usage over time; however, where meaning is clearly unaffected and where either form will be (or at least should be) understood by any reasonably proficient English speaker, I should think we would give people a pass if they used the "wrong" plural.  Aside from that, of course, is whether or not "conundrum" has the right etymology to properly be pluralized "conundra," which is a question I am not qualified to answer.

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