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

Members: 211
Latest Activity: Oct 27


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 Oct 27. 89 Replies

Fun with English adjective order

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by tom sarbeck Oct 6. 3 Replies

Eviscerating Language

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by tom sarbeck May 17. 3 Replies

25 Language Song

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Apr 2, 2016. 0 Replies

Not face = universal language

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Grinning Cat Mar 28, 2016. 1 Reply

Pronouns for Gender Fluidity

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Kelly Jan 13, 2016. 1 Reply

Pronouns for Gender Fluidity

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Jan 13, 2016. 0 Replies

Enlightenment words.

Started by Gerald Payne. Last reply by Plinius Sep 17, 2015. 2 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

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

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

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 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.
Comment by annet on September 21, 2011 at 9:20pm

Today I looked up the plural of conundrum.  There is a big debate about whether it is conundrums or conundra.

The comments are very funny if you feel like reading some linguaphiles going at it.,5753,-5253,00.html


Comment by Carl Pastor on September 20, 2011 at 11:52am
heh, yes but given the japanese habit of dropping the subject of the sentence, i never hear tachi or ra used in ordinary conversation.  it seems to me that its used mostly by politicians to spread responsibility for what ever they are proposing
Comment by Natalie A Sera on September 20, 2011 at 7:49am
Carl, Japanese DOES have plurals, at least for people, such as -tachi (anatatachi), and -ra (warera). But there are no commonly used plurals for other nouns. That doesn't present a problem, though, because you can always use an adjective or prefix such as takusan or sukoshi or suu- or whatever, to indicate that you are talking about more than one thing. It fascinates me how different languages manage to get the same information across in different ways! :-)
Comment by Carl Pastor on September 20, 2011 at 1:47am
wow, thank you for the info. btw, japanese has no plural either.
Comment by Keith Brian Johnson on September 20, 2011 at 1:15am
That seems similar to the apparently decreased appreciation of the difference between "less" and "fewer."  I am not sure this is really a bad thing, since it amounts to a recognition that number is a species of the genus amount.  But it does seem less precise than does preserving the distinction between "how much" and "how many"--although nobody seems to be bothered by using "more" both for continuous and distinct quantities.  Maybe it's because quantum mechanics makes us view everything as quantized anyway!
Comment by annet on September 19, 2011 at 7:33pm

I'm a wannabe on this topic but here is something I found on the interwebs regarding a recent "change" in American grammar 


A large amount of pigeons flew by.


A large number of pigeons flew by.


English once distinguished nouns referring to substances that are always in the singular by using amount for singular substances and number for countable objects in the plural...






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