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

Members: 211
Latest Activity: yesterday


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

Language as a Tool of State Repression

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Jan 9. 0 Replies

Decline in writing accuracy.

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Grinning Cat Dec 1, 2017. 91 Replies

Fun with English adjective order

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by tom sarbeck Oct 6, 2017. 3 Replies

Eviscerating Language

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by tom sarbeck May 17, 2017. 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

Comment Wall


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

Comment by Tom Sarbeck on December 6, 2017 at 11:27am

Yeah, Bert, the Brits do English interestingly.

Brits: "Knock me up sometime."

Yanks: "Visit sometime."

Comment by Bertold Brautigan on December 6, 2017 at 7:49am

I used to work at a language institute with a mainly British staff, and found that they have all sorts of charming expressions that differ from ours. Instead of a series of shots, they say a course of jabs. Just yesterday reading a great novel (The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O) I ran into a Britism I'd never heard: cack-handed, meaning clumsy or awkward.

Comment by Randall Smith on December 6, 2017 at 7:14am

The very same radio personality that used the phrase "carbon copy" said another oldie, "tickle your fancy", as in "I hope this will tickle your fancy" (or "tickle MY fancy). So, I looked it up.

Turns out it to be a rather vulgar saying, at least according to one source. "Fancy" came from "fanny", which in merry old England, meant vagina (not butt)!  Hmmm. You can take it from there!

Comment by Joan Denoo on November 29, 2017 at 1:26pm

A metaphor is a facet, a cut diamond, one side sparkling, other sides merely stone.

~ Joan Denoo, unless someone knows the originator of this metaphor. 

Comment by Chris on November 28, 2017 at 2:46am

A carbon copy is easier than a Polygraph.

I understand Thomas Jefferson used one of these machines to duplicate letters and notes.
When I write a letter and want to write the same letter to someone else With pen to paper subsuquent letters are always different.  I often change my thoughts and words around - not that the second letter is any better than the first.   I think that's just the way the mind works.   I can' imagine the tourment an author goes through with a multitude of rewrites and editing.   It seems to me that doing it pen to paper on inital drafts at least would the way to do begin and maybe continue. I'm not a writer so I have no idea.

Comment by Chris on November 28, 2017 at 2:34am

Grinning Cat,

When I was learning to type the gosh darned keyes got stuck together.   If I were a writer I'd rather write long hand to begin with. To me pen to paper is more intimate.

The good thing about a typewriter, such as a "Royal" is they thay last forever, they never need to be upgraded and as David  McCullogh (the historian) says you won't loose all your work if your push the wrong button -

I'd add also you won't loose your work by hacking, or a power outage.

Comment by Grinning Cat on November 28, 2017 at 1:38am

Chris, "double carbon copy" may be necessary code for alluding to the cause of stronger storms!

And even those folks who've never used typewriters use Cc: in email to indicate "carbon-copied" secondary recipients. (Tangent: a typewriter mechanic recently set up shop near me. His promotional materials assert a resurgence of interest in this simple, reliable, unhackable technology.)

Radios are perfectly good for listening to broadcasts, for free! (As much as the big media conglomerates hate that! You do have to deal with ads on most stations, either the annoying commercial kind, or calmer public-radio underwriting notices at the beginning and end of a program.) I especially enjoy the ability to listen to news, interviews, documentaries, and music when I'm driving.

I know someone who won't "dial" a phone unless it has the round thing you turn. He probably doesn't use the term "footage" for the bits of digital video he puts together into band videos.

Comment by Chris on November 27, 2017 at 10:47pm

"Carbon" copy is hallarious!

The weatherbroadcaster deserves an award for commenting about climate change without  without comming out and saying anything about fossile fuel contributing  global temererature changes, which way the wind blows, or how much rain falls .

Local weather people aren't supposed to comment about climate - or even worse carbon!!!

The next time there is a hurricane the weatherforcaster may be allowed to say it's a double carbon copy of the storm last month (or year).  The weather forcaster may even be able to tell the citizens in Florida, 

 North Carolina

and elsewhere

Grab your folders, collect your carbon's. You may loose the sheets of your manuscripts 'this storm surge.'

Comment by tom sarbeck on November 27, 2017 at 11:45am
Randall, the use of a dated term suggests, but does not prove, the age of the term’s user.

I had typed “When no living person uses a term....” but realized it too was dated.

So, when no evidence of a term’s usage survives....”

Hm-mm, radios are also dated.
Comment by Randall Smith on November 27, 2017 at 7:11am

I heard this said on the radio: "Today's weather is a "carbon copy" of yesterday's". Now that's an outdated description. Who uses carbon copies anymore? What will happen to that terminology?


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