Monday, November 19, 2007

Are you a sesquipedalian?

Since I have been propounding about my propensity for perfectionism, am beginning to articulate the peculiarities in my vocabulary, and am blessed to share The Abbey with two fine polymathic Abbots, this might be a fine time to share a polysyllabic moment.

Perhaps I'll tell the story of how I came to know this word another time (from my Dad's seminary days), but sesquipedalian is actually a mathmatical term for something that is one and one half feet in length--or one-half yard. Those of you who know my struggles with PTMS (post traumatic math syndrome) might be somewhat astounded to find me resonating with this word, but it has also come to be associated (possibly pejoratively!?) with those who have an affinity for words with multiple syllables.

And so someone who is a sesquipedalian is one who is given to the use of long words. Some would go so far as to say the overuse of long words...which sound a bit like the pot calling the kettle black, if you ask me! I have observed that there are more and more people who are finding themselves in this category of orator simply by their knack for making up words...like, since when did someone with potential become someone with potentiality?

I have been wondering why my blog has received a readability rating of "High School" rather than "Middle School", like Scot McKnight's Jesus Creed blog. Professor McKnight seems to use his fair share of polysyllabic ecclesiastical terminology...I'll just continue to agree with my friend "cas" from the Jesus Creed blog, who thinks that the rating program must be messed up! :^)

Be blessed...

5 comments:

Brad said...

monosyllabic is an oxymoron ...

a celtic son said...

Brad you are way too bright for your own good!!

I luvyerwork Abbess. My apologies for my inability to contribute much at present - there's a lot of support needed in my immediate surroundings, but I will be back. Until then I'll continue to uphold you in prayer...

Slainte

A Celtic Son

PS...to make the word sesquipedalian truly sesquipedalian type the word in Times New Roman font at 120 point size... because then it's about a foot and a half long!

AbiSomeone said...

Brethren...just love you to bits!

Brad...exactly!

CS...I know of your support duties and thank you for checking in and for your prayers.

...120 point size, indeed! Hehehe....

Janet Woodlock said...

Years of working as a high school teacher have trained me to control my sesquipedalian tendencies. If the students looked glazed (or worse, were sniggering) I knew it was time to wind things back.

I have a theory preachers should have to do a stint in a secondary classroom to learn to control their verbosity.

AbiSomeone said...

Janet...hehehe...you would love the story from my Dad's seminary days!

My children are all budding sesquipedalians... and the way they mispronounce their half-yard words is truly hysterical!