With this post, I inaugurate The Vocabulary Thread (inspired by Beat's thread on developing a better vocabulary), where fellow sesquipedalians, logophiles, and lexicographers can collectively revile the paucity of the Microsoft Auto-Correct function's word-list and revel in a more fustian brand of English... though some might castigate me, demur, beg to differ... a first-class vocabulary is not inevitably the cause of prolixity, but may indeed result in a tighter prose-style which abjures excessively epexegetical writing in favor of snappier clauses with clearer demarcations of meaning(s)...
So... the preceding paragraph is an example of what not to do on this thread. The sheer gymnastics of word-use (cramming into one's routine as many technically difficult and obscure elements as flawlessly as possible) is not what we're here for... rather, we are here to introduce and/or share with our fellows some of the more interesting words or phrases that we have come across.
Threads tend to be rhizomatic and thus in good faith, we should attempt to prevent such de-centering for the sake of really mining this thread for new knowledge.
I shall attempt a prototypical post, but the general rules to be followed are as follow:
1) No word shall be posted without posters' actually utilizing the words in sentences of their own composition. Even if the meaning of the word is manifest in the sample sentence, the poster should succinctly gloss the denotation(s) and/or connotation(s) in a follow-up note. Dictionary definitions are fine, but I think people who really love words should be able to provide definitions in their own words, which will frequently overlap with dictionary definitions.
2) All posters should make some attempt at providing rudimentary etymologies of words... for people to truly appreciate a word, as with a country or an individual, a history, however brief, should be told. However, as with history, too much of it gets to be quite boring... so only the bare minimum ought to intrude... for instance, in my gloss on "sesquipedalian", I describe how it essentially means 'one-and-a-half-footed', but don't go into how Horace used it... give us enough to get the essential flavor of the word. We are not all lexicographers, however, so quoting reliable sources should be more than fine here...
Here are a few from my side:
"I loathe mere sesquipedalians! They have no sense of literary balance and their love of obscure words comes handy only in taking standardized exams or impressing thirty-year-olds who wear braces."
sesquipedalian (adj., can function as a n.): one who is partial to long words.
etymology: one-and-a-half-footed... (Latin)
"Many religious traditions dramatically illustrate their central messages by playing with and transfiguring taboos, such as with the marriage of Draupadi to five men in the Mahabharata or the role of blood in the Christian sacrament."
taboo (adj.): profane, off-limits, conventionally frowned upon...
etymology: interestingly, taboo derives from the Tongan "tapu" or other cognate forms in the Austronesian language families... while "tapu" did mean off-limits, it also indicated something sacred and pure... it is entirely understandable that in attempting to maintain the purity of, say, a sacred shrine, priests and religious laymen would pronounce it "tapu" and restrict access for fear of its being defiled.
"It is not uncommon that verbosity stems from an insecurity about being misunderstood. Hence, where a few words would suffice, the speaker goes on and on trying to explain himself and qualify his explanations for the sake of specificity, quickly inundating his audience in unnecessary epexegesis and leaving it more confused and in the dark than ever before."
epexegesis (n.): the use of a word or several words to explain another statement.
etymology: derived through prefixation from "exegesis". "ep" (in addition to, beyond, stemming from, around, etc.) + exegesis [from Gk. exegeisthai "explain, interpret," from ex- "out" + hegeisthai "to lead, guide."].