[LMB] OT: One for the language geeks

John Lennard john.c.lennard at gmail.com
Mon Nov 16 12:25:53 GMT 2015

Beatrice Otter:"Sesqui" means 1.5--it's also the root of sesquipedalianism,
a charming word I have been searching most of my life for a reason to use.
? (It means using unnecessarily long and complicated words.)

John: Strictly, it means "and a half", contracting the Latin *semis que*,
and can be added to any Latinate word expressing a numerical count. Thus,
in prosody, a tetrameter has four feet, a sesquitetrameter four-and-a-half.

Assuming most listies will know 'Macavity, the Mystery Cat', learn,
sesquipedalianly, that its prosody mixes deutero-paeonic tetrameter and

(Which comes down to:

ti-TUM-ti-ti  ti-TUM-ti-ti  ti-TUM-ti-ti  ti-TUM-ti-ti


ti-TUM-ti-ti  ti-TUM-ti-ti  ti-TUM-ti-ti  ti-TUM

a ti-TUM-ti-ti being a second paeon.)

John Lennard, MA DPhil. (Oxon.), MA (WU)

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