Expanding Vocabulary. Using a Dictionary. sesquipedalian. What do you think this word means? Write down a definition and identify the part of speech (noun, adjective, adverb, etc.)
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Using a Dictionary
What do you think this word means? Write down a definition and identify the part of speech (noun, adjective, adverb, etc.)
(Don’t look it up if you don’t know; just guess. If you do know the meaning, don’t tell anyone; just play along.)
A. any semi-aquatic warm-blooded species equipped with webbed fin-like feet (e.g., walruses, sea cows, and otters)
B. a name given to one who rode a nineteenth century bicycle characterized by an oversized front wheel
C. language marked by words that are a foot and a half long; a person who uses words with too many syllables
D. a French-Icelandic pastry containing layers of frozen sweet-salty sorbet
E. In a style imitative of Antonio Luigi Sesquipedali, a 15th c. Italian opera bass-baritone renowned for his yodeling arias
Not all of them are
“sesquipedalian.”Which of the following can be “sesquipedalian”?
Bombastic: using an inflated style of speech or writing
Didactic: concerned with the teaching of a lesson
Florid: flowery and ornate writing or speech
Grandiloquent: using lofty words or phrases
Highfalutin: reflecting an attitude of self-importance
Pompous: too elevated for the subject matter
Pretentious: affected; pretending to be more than what one is
Purple: ornately and showily phrased
Supercilious: arrogantly superior; haughty
Verbose: using too many words
Derivation: Miriam Webster
A formal, academic tone is not necessarily sesquipedalian nor verbose. It is a voice that demonstrates a skills with the subject matter and a facility with the language. It is a voice of authority, as “authority” is defined in an academic environment.
In 5 minutes, quickly write a short note to a friend of yours in as slangy and familiar a tone as you can, asking for a loan of some money for college. (Vulgarity is permitted.)
Now, another 5 minutes, revise the note into a request you will send to the Chancellor of a university. Consider all the changes you’ll need to make in order to convince the Chancellor to give you a scholarship.