Monday, June 27, 2011

Suffering Sesquipedalianism

It has sometimes, okay, oft times, been said that I suffer from sesquipedalianism. And sadly I have to admit that I do have a propensity to and adoration of being sesquipedalianism at times.
Yes! I admit it. I am “Given to using long words”, and/or, using “large words when smaller ones will do.” Which is exactly what Sesquipedalianism, the Word of the Day for Sunday, May 2, 2010, means:
1. Given to using long words.
2. (Of a word) containing many syllables.
Now sesquipedalianism first appears in Horace's Ars Poetica, where he originated the word as meaning "words a foot-and-a-half long," and meant it as an ironic criticism! Which is very interesting, but I just wish he had not used such a sesquipedalianism word himself, don’t You?
Now I don’t believe my use of sesquipedalianism is that bad, and I would even argue that sometimes using long words is good as it stretches the mind and by using longer words, for shorter ones, it sometimes breaks up the repetition of using the same word over and over, when a similar one will break that monotony of repetition.
However, I will admit that the overuse of sesquipedalianisms can be overbearing and too much at times. I once remember having to read 6 pages of a theological book at Theological College, but gave up after a page and a half, as I had already had the dictionary out a half dozen times for the writers sesquipedalianisms. But that said, there is a rather simple cure for it apparently.
Yes, in the Christian Examiner, Volume 72, it says this: “It is very true that when the experiment of dictating is first tried, the luxury of the ease it gives is apt to be so great, that it tends to looseness and verbosity of style; for there is no better check on sesquipedalianism than the necessity of writing down one's sesquipedalian words for one's self.”
And if you doubt this advice, try writing Sesquipedalianism down even once unaided! Even after having written in half a dozen times, I still can’t remember how to spell it without looking at the original.
Well in closing, apart from sesquipedalianism itself, what other unnecessary long words do you know, even if not used regularly? And can you write them down unaided?

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