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Saturday, May 25, 2024

Sesquipedalian Predisposiiton

Author: Mark Dixon
Sunday, March 2, 2008
3:34 pm

“Words, words, words” said Hamlet, in response to Polonius’ question, “What do you read, my lord?”

I love words. Their meanings and origins fascinate me. That a few written symbols or brief intonations in verbal conversation can convey powerful concepts or subtle nuances of meaning is a remarkable testament to the intricacies of the human intellect and richness of our culture.

One of my favorite daily email subscriptions is the Visual Thesaurus Word of the Day. I enjoy spending a few moments each day reading about the meaning and origin of some new, obscure word. Last week, up popped a new word that was sublime in its apt description of itself.

Sesquipedalian” means, literally, “given to using long words.” It was derived from the Latin word “sésquipeda-lis” = “measuring a foot and a half.” Quite descriptive of itself, don’t you think?

So yes, I do have a predisposition to using “foot and a half” long words. In the words of my daughter Heidi, who also suffers from the same malady, “Why use a long word when a diminutive one will do?

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One Response to “Sesquipedalian Predisposiiton”

    Here is one more thesaurus for you, Mark!

    I’m sure you’ll also will have fun with it!

    Comment by Jim Bustovsky on June 6, 2011 at 11:55 pm

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