There’s a word for everything, and in this case, Sesquipedalian is the word of the day! So, what does it mean and what does it have to do with this post? To put it simply, it’s a big word for big words - technically polysyllabic words or long words. Ironically enough, the word describes itself. But that’s not all this word describes!
Ever encounter someone who likes using longer words or is long-winded? Sesquipedalian describes them, too. That’s really the point of this post is to warn against becoming one of ‘them’ in your writing. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE learning new words! And I love using them in writing too, but while I love doing that, I have learned to do it sparingly.
I tried being all fanciful with my writing once. Those that read it immediately noticed the change. For starters, I had made the mistake of trying out the ‘new’ style in a later chapter in a book. Bad idea. It threw everyone off because I had changed my writing style halfway through a story. So, I corrected the mistake and learned from it. If I was going to do it, I was going to have to be consistent. Besides that, it was a lot of work! Turns out, that’s just not my style.
Still, using large or unfamiliar words can be fun! However, if that isn’t your writing style, it won’t work. Some writers can get away with it because that is their style, and they’re known for it. However, if you aren’t one of them and you don’t want to be known for sending someone searching for a dictionary or a thesaurus, then it may be better to stick to the words you and your readers know.
That said, sprinkling in a few words here and there can work. I do it. Point and case: this blog about sesquipedalian. So, if you’re thinking about baffling people with your vocabulary choices, just remember to be consistent, be prepared to be called a sesquipedalian, and most of all, keep your audience in mind. Some readers like learning new words, but not everyone enjoys doing it every few sentences.
Happy Sesquipedalian Day! – FYI, I totally made that holiday up…do you think it’ll stick?
Photo Credit: Pixabay