Sesquipedalian n. One who is inordinately infatuated with polysyllabic obfuscation, preferring never to employ a less complicated syntactic arrangement of descriptive words when there exists a single expressive unit that amalgamates the multiplicity of morphemes1 comprising the simpler phrase. Among the manifold objectives of multisyllabic, holophrastic2 verbalism are those of: rendering the author's meaning indisputably precise yet simultaneously incomprehensible; demonstrating through superior orthography and lexical awareness that the writer is manifestly more erudite than the reader; disempowering intellectual challenge to the proponent's argument by using logomachinations3 to divert discussion to the establishment of the opponent's comprehension of the vocabulary as opposed to addressing the factual import of the treatise which, upon analysis, may well prove amphigorous4. The obscurantist5 sesquipedalian is likely to compound the reader's difficulties by indulging in glossosynthesis6, thus enabling the author to dismiss all opposing views as ultracrepidarious7. In other words, a sesquipedalian is one who would call a spade a manuo-pedal excavationary implement8.
1Linguistic units of relatively stable meaning that cannot be divided into smaller meaningful parts, such as whole words like god, word-forming elements like -ly as found in godly, or grammatical inflections like the plural ending -s on gods. [Source: Reader's Digest Universal Dictionary].2Single words that can be used instead of a whole phrase, or that convey a set of ideas.3Arguments about meanings of words.4Text which appears at first to be meaningful, but upon examination is found to be nonsense.5Person with a tendency to oppose or impede investigation or the progress of knowledge.6Invention of nonsense words.7Acting or speaking beyond the sphere of actual knowledge or experience; ignorant criticism.8A spade.
Conversations About This Entry
Infinite Improbability Drive
"The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is a wholly remarkable book. It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. It contains contributions from countless numbers of travellers and researchers."
Most Recent Entries
- 'Love Actually' - the Film
- The Unending Appetite of the Canopener Bridge: A Trucker Tale
- UK Christmas Singles of the 1980s
- 'The Elf on the Shelf' - the Marketing Phenomenon
- 'Only Connect' - the Television Quiz Show
- UK Christmas Singles of the 1970s
- Favourite Festive Films
- Stand By Me: The Journey Started with Some Sheet Music
- The Royal Navy Submarine Museum, Gosport, Hampshire, UK
- The Trial of Anne Royall: Courageous Journalist or 'Common Scold'?