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Are you a sesquipedalian?


Forum Editor

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Well, are you - are you someone who is inordinately infatuated with polysyllabic obfuscation?

Perhaps not, but if you're young do you accept the view of this man who thinks that "younger people are coming to rely on search engines to do their thinking for them. The end result of this will be a standardisation of understanding itself, as people become unable to think outside of the box-shaped screen."?

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Bingalau

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Coincidence maybe, but someone just sent me this in an e-mail

Ineptocracy (in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

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john bunyan

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When my grand daughter was about 11 she wrote a long essay / story for school and included the word "Schadenfreude", as we had been discussing some enjoyment of a rival schools losing a match and the word fascinated her. The teacher thought it a bit precocious, but last year she got an A* for GCSE English and no doubt is considered a sesquipedalian by some of her peers.

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woody

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These days we are encouraged to dumb down most things including our language. Do not use one word which will accurately describe a situation if you can use two simple words which do not. We have seen recent reports which state 25 percent of children leaving school can barely read/write. Also we see from top CEO's that they have to be taught "work ethic" "courtesy" etc. A recent report stated the police are "barely literate". We have a very rich/vibrant language built up over hundreds of years but I fear before long it will be changed out of all recognition.

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john bunyan

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finerty

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No when i type in the serch engine for the results im lloking for about 80% are unreliable and not wwhat im looking for.

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Woolwell

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Seems that many are missing the point of the link in the original second paragraph. Are books, etc being dumbed down with a lesser range of words being used? I suspect that is the case. People want a sound bite now. I know that my vocabulary could be enlarged.

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March Hare

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It's not helpful when the government feeds us expressions like "extraordinary rendition" when much clearer (and more truthful) expressions could be used. Do they think we're all stupid and won't understand if fancy words are used?

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Terry Brown

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Do any of you 'Old Codgers' remember the TV show ' The Good Old Days' set in 'The Wheeltappers and Shunters' club.

Now that was the place for the long word (part of the show)

Yes- I can (just) remember it-go on- show your age.

Terry

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john bunyan

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"It is the US government that has always been fond of disguising unpleasant things with innocuous names."

Yes, for example the Atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima was called Little Boy

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Forum Editor

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The point about all this is our ability to communicate. There are many long and rarely-used words in the English language which have little relevance as far as most of us are concerned, but that doesn't we should shun everything that might be slightly unusual.

Language is the one thing (except perhaps for the opposable thumb) that has enabled us to dominate our planet, and pretty well everything on the surface of it. English is arguably the richest language in the world - if we care to use it imaginatively. Read the best English poets, authors, and playwrights and you'll realise just how wonderful our language can be.

Deny yourself access to books, and you'll always be like an out of tune car - you'll get by in the communication stakes, but there'll be something missing. The average person probably uses around 3000 words in everyday verbal communication; there are around 700,000 words in the OED, and a lot more than that if you include scientific words.

Expand your vocabulary and you'll expand your mind - you'll be able to think better and as a consequence you'll be a better communicator. Forget about being a sesquipedalian, but if you feel that you could benefit from a little more in terms of your vocabulary start reading more books.

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