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

Members: 215
Latest Activity: on Sunday


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 August 17, 2009 at 12:47pm
Question of the day, from

Q: What is the difference between an outbreak, epidemic, and a pandemic?

A: An epidemic is a disease that affects many people at the same time, such as the flu. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's official definition of epidemic is: 'The occurrence of more cases of disease than expected in a given area or among a specific group of people over a particular period of time'. A pandemic is a very extensive epidemic, like a plague, that is prevalent in a country, continent, or the world. There is also the word endemic, which is a disease native to a people or region, which is regularly or constantly found among a people or specific region. The term outbreak describes the sudden rise in the incidence of a disease, especially a harmful one. An outbreak is characterized by a disease's bypassing of measures to control it. Often, the difference between these terms is determined by the percentage of deaths caused by the disease.
Comment by It's just Matt on August 14, 2009 at 6:35pm
If anyone is interested and does not care about piracy, I have a very good speed reading program (EyeQ) that I can transfer via instant messenger. I have AIM,YIM, and Windows messenger, let me know if you are interested.

Note: The reviews on Amazon are not favorable mainly because the American company that has rights to this Japanese program has horrible customer service. IE damaged discs, discs never came, people charged for discs they never if you are interested but your moral compass is sitting on the fence, they have screwed more people over than a few users not paying the overpriced amount of 200 US for their program.
Comment by A Former Member on August 14, 2009 at 5:14pm
You go D!
Comment by A Former Member on August 14, 2009 at 12:09pm
Question of the day, from

Q: What is the difference between discreet and discrete?

A: This is another pair of homophones (words that sound alike but are different in spelling or meaning or both) that can be very confusing. Discreet implies the showing of reserve and prudence in one's behavior or speech. Discrete means something quite different - 'distinct, separate, unrelated'. Both words derive from the same Latin word discretus and for a long time these words were each spelled two different ways, but eventually came to be differentiated in spelling as well as in meaning. Discreet has yielded the noun discretion, but discrete's noun form is discreteness. Examples: They tried to be discreet about their unapproved friendship. / The course is broken down into 10 discrete study units.
Comment by A Former Member on August 13, 2009 at 11:24am
@Jared: Let me see if I can weigh in on this. He is hungrier than me. is wrong because:

He is the subject
is is the verb (intransitive)
hungrier is the adjective that describes the subject, he
than is a conjuction comarping me to He
me would be the object of the sentence, which would receive the action of a transitive verb, but since there is no transative verb in this sentence, there can be no object to receive the action. Is is an intransative verb.

Therefore, I must be used, because both He and I are both subjects of the sentence.

Me is only used as the object of the sentence: The book belongs to me.

Book is the subject, and me is the object of the verb belong.

I think I got that right! :)
Comment by Jared Lardo on August 13, 2009 at 11:09am
So, Don, are you saying that "He is hungrier than me." is wrong?

And "actual reality" has no meaning in this discussion. I've just got to say that this is alarming to me. Grammar is totally real.
Comment by Jared Lardo on August 13, 2009 at 10:19am
Don, this brings back memories of high school English classes. I think this issue came up then, too. It seemed like pretentiousness back then and it still seems that way now. Presenting the example "My husband likes football better than [he likes] me." united for me the uses of objective and nominative pronouns behind "than" under one theory. Although it still seems an obscenely roundabout way to look at it.

What about "He's hungrier than me."? I can see it being declared an incorrect use of "than" and given, reformatted for consistency with the theory, as "He's hungrier than I [am].", but that draws up my pretensiondar again. With regard to phrasings such as these, the solution closest to actual reality still appears to me to be that "than" is a preposition in certain situations.
Comment by A Former Member on August 13, 2009 at 9:56am
Question of the day, from

Q: What is the difference between allusion, delusion, and illusion?

A: An allusion is a reference to something, usually an indirect reference to a statement by another or to a hint or suggestion, a passing or incidental reference. An illusion is a fanciful vision or a false impression or idea, a mental state in which one attributes reality to something unreal. Delusion is a mistaken impression or wrong idea, but the word also implies action - the action of fooling with a wrong impression or idea or the condition of being fooled or deceived. Some examples are: In an allusion to her profession, she named her cat Webster. / He suffers from the delusion that he is a great writer. / It is an illusion that the economy is in a full recovery.
Comment by A Former Member on August 13, 2009 at 9:54am
Note: Per Don's suggestion, the group name has been changed to SESQUIPEDALIANS instead of SEQUIPEDALIANISTS. Thanks Don!
Comment by Jared Lardo on August 13, 2009 at 9:54am
It's a preposition sometimes, too. E.g.: "You're sillier than a circus." You could make the same "There's an 'is' in there!" assertion again, but that's bullshit. It works just fine without adding an unnecessary element to the situation as a preposition, having "circus" as the object of the preposition in this situation, instead of this garbage about a subordinate clause.

Additionally, just to smartass it up, how could it possibly be right to leave a word completely out of a sentence?

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