• Polyamory is the belief in, or practice of, romantic chains involving more than two persons, with the knowledge and consent of all. Even if you object to that idea, it's still useful to know the terminology. That way, if you find yourself confronted by a polyamorist, and debate the issue, you'll be up to speed with the words you're likely to hear in their defense.

    If you're in favor of polyamory, but new to the poly community, or didn't realize such a community existed ... well now you know, and you can learn what I think are some of the most basic words to know when speaking with other polyamorists.

    You don't have to use any of these words. But it's good to at least know them. The poly community is growing, and so is its terminology. Don't let those evil poly commies embarrass you by throwing out words you aren't familiar with!

    If you're a long-time member of the poly community, then you can nitpick at my righteous test and point out all the words I defined wrong ... as well as words I should have included, but didn't. There's got to be thousands of poly words.

    I just want to cover the most basic basics here. Most people are unfamiliar with any poly terminology. Therefore, a test that helps people learn the basic basics is a good place to start.

    Poly vocabulary is a highly fluid, evolving part of the English language. I've found that poly people tend to disagree about how various words should be defined. I've tried to make my variants simple, concise, and universal.

    Hint: When I say "marriage," I tend to define it as a committed, romantic union that is formally government-approved by means of a legally valid marriage certificate. I say nothing about endorsing government approval. I only say that it would be nice if more people (both mono and poly; both liberal and conservative) could agree on a consistent set of definitions.

    If a union is, for all practical purposes, a marriage, but lacks that government-approved marriage certificate, then I tend to call it a "committed relationship," a "committed, romantic relationship," or perhaps even a "closed, committed, romantic relationship."

    Don't worry: I'll tell you what the various words mean. All in good time. First you have to take the test.

    Don't be afraid: Some questions have more than one right answer. Some have answers that are worth partial credit.

    Think of it this way. If you're new to poly ideas, this test is just to see where you're at for starters. I've given away the meaning of a few terms ... so you won't totally bomb. And then, you can always re-take the test, and demonstrate how you're quickly becoming a Poly Vocabulary Jedi Master.

    Give yourself to the Poly Side of the Force!

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