The only fight Quarrel, the Quarterly Report on the English Language, is likely to stir up is whether anyone can afford it.

In fact the magazine is so costly - $12,000 for a single year, a bargain basement $10 thousand for the next two, and no trading stamps, please - that its editors have asked to be included in the Guinness Book of World Records as the most expensive magazine ever. The Guinness people, dumbfounded no doubt, have yet to repond.

The purpose of Quarrel, and the reason it's so expensive, is to survey the English language as it grows, to scour 35 daily newspapers, 60 weeklies and fortnightlies and 100 monthly magazines for words so new they have yet to appear in dictionaries. Laurence Urdang, managing editor of the Random House Dictionary, thought all this up and hopes to see a first copy out by the spring.

Intended mainly for libraries lexicographers and dictionary publishers. Quarrel is also, says managing editor Hope Gilbert, "an ideal Christmas gift for somebody who shops at Neiman-Marcus." Sink or Swim

On Nov. 28, two young men will go on trial for grand theft in Honolulu. The specific charge is that they released two dolphins which Lou Herman, a professor of psychology at the University of Hawaii, had been using for testing. But the more complex question, as put forward in fascinating detail is Arthur Lubow's cover story in the Oct. 14 New Times, is whether those dolphins, and other animals as well, should have the same rights as humans.

"We didn't steal them, we gave them back," is what Kenny LeVasseur, one of the liberators, told newsmen after freeing the dolphins. "We were motivated by a moral and philosophical commitment to the idea that man has no right to capture, or hold in captivity, intelligent, feeling beings."

But to Prof. Herman, who emphasized that he had fired the two men just 36 hours before the release, theirs was simply "an act of retribution. There's lots of garbage being thrown about their motives, which were quite impure. They made it sound as if we were hanging up the dolphins by the tail and whipping them."

The tack taken by animal rights people like Peter Singer, author of "Animal Liberation," is twofold: either animals don't suffer the same way as humans, in which case why bother experimenting on them, or they do perceive anguish like us, in which case experimenting on them is unconscionable.

Prof. Herman, however, sees all this as begging the question. "Man's right to know, isn't that the ethical issue?" he asks. "If you give up the right to know, you're back to the dark ages of mysticism, religion and dogma."

See you in court. Bang Bang

"You're not going to find this on many newsstands," says Sy Baum. "This is not the average, everyday, run-of-the-mill magazine."

What "this" is Armies & Weapons, published by a Swiss group that also puts out a French magazine called Defense and an Arabic magazine called Defense & Security, and go figure all that out.

According to Baum, who works for the N. DeFilippes Company. A&W's American advertising representative, the 35,000-circulation monthly with inspirational articles like "Armored Vehicles in South America" and "Radar for the Infantry" is intended for the heavy hitters who are "concerned with the purchase of arms systems."

Which accounts for A&W's fun ads, featuring euticing lines like "When you say 'mines'" and "Needing grenades?" Baum, however, says not to worry. "Nobody buys a couple of million bucks' worth of helicopters from an ad. It's all part of the game."

"No, its not cherry unless you're a war freak but it's a fact of life," Baum says in closing. "And if you're ever in the market for a tanker or a cannon, come to me. I can get it for you wholesale." What's You Name

The Oct. 31 issue of New York Magazine swears up and down and sideways that the following are genuine, bonafide names:

A. Moron - Commissioner of Education, Virgin Islands;

Charles Adolphe Faux-Pas Bidet - Commissaire de Police, Paris, France;

Cigar Stubbs - Florida Bureau of Statistics;

Bambina Broccoli - New York City;

Baroness Gaby von Gagge of Boo;

Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin Pond - Hartford, Conn.:

Katz Meow - Hoquiam, Wash.

Positive Wasserman Johnson - Evanston, Ill.;

Ronald Supena - Lawyer, Philadelphia;

Silence Bellows - editor;

T. Hee - Restaurant employee, New York City;

Dr. Zoltan Ovary, Gynecologist, New York Hospital; Stand By Your Man

Two well-known women stick up for their equally well-known, if sometimes misunderstood hubbies.

Ali MacGraw defends Steven McQueen in the November Ladies' Home Journal:

"That 'Ali MacGraw victim' story is getting on my nerves. I'm sick of it. I stopped working because I wanted to raise my family. Steve would never think of asking me not to work. That's just a convenient crock that gossip columnists dreamed up. Steve, a Svengali? God, no!"

Helen Gurley Brown, publisher of Cosmopolitan, on life with David Brown, coproducer of "Jaws" and other goodies in the October Town & Country:

"Let's just say that when you haven't seen your mate for several days, it doesn't make things less loving or sexy. If someone is underfoot all the time, it might breed great camaraderie, but not much mystery or sexual tension. So you sort of make up for lost time.

"I'm still a sexual creature and hope to go on being one as long as I can get someone to be sexual with me. . . . if I stop caring, stop trying with new clothes, new hairdos, whatever it is, that would mean I'm seriously depressed or dead." What's New

Staggering in their variety though they may be, new magazines this month can with only minimal difficulty be placed in the following nifty categories:

MOST HOO-HA SUCCESS - Bookviews, an offshoot of Publisher's Weekly, debuted in September with a 100,000 circulation and has doubled that figure for its third issue. Attractions are copious reviews, booky features like celebrities picking the best works in their fields and what a Bookviews spokesman calls "consumer attractive information."

HORSEY-EST - Equus, published right down the road at 656 Quince Orchard Road in Gaithersburg, is obviovely dedicated to want publisher Ami Shinitzky passionately calls "a crying need for so much more information about the horse himself, rather than about the activities and egos of horespeople." True to this noble creed, quus' first issue features such sure crowd-pleasures as "Wound Care," "Waterproof Your Horse" and "The Magical Tummy Tour: A Trip Down the Alimentary Canal."

SO NEW IT ISN'T EVEN OUT YET - That would be Woman, a projected weekly woman's (what else?) magazine being considered by the powers that be at Time Inc., who have gotten so serious about their digestsized baby that they are test-marketing 160,000 copies in 12 cities starting next week.

ZIPPIEST - Nautical Quarterly, a graphic delight that even comes in an elegant slipcase and costs $30 for four yearly issues. Address in 605 Third Avenue, New York City 10016. Fun even for non-swimmers.

DULLEST - Electric Power Systems Research. Better luck next time, guys. Puff Puff

Don't look now, but the American cigarette industry is starting to wheeze. According to the Oct. 31 Business Week, cigarette sales in 1977 will grow less than 1 per cent for the second straight year, the lowest growth since 1969, and this at a time when the U.S. population between the ages of 15 and 34 has increased by about 5 per cent.

Hardly satisfied, The Cancer Society has suggested that the health warning on cigarette packs include the word "DEATH" and a fierce skull and crossbones. The Tobacco Institute, however, has vowed to fight this to the end. Says one official bravely, "We're no longer turning the other cheek."

People who continue to smoke. BW reports, are likely to smoke low-tar cigarettes, which went up in sales 43 per cent in 1977 to account for just about one out of every six cigarettes sold. The biggest gainer of the top 10 was Merit, with sales up a hearty 94.6 per cent from last year and expectations of soon passing Vantage, the low-tar pioneer. To which a Vantage spokesman snorts, "You want to bet?"

The 10 top-selling cigarettes and their sales in billions are:(TABLE) 1-Mariboro(COLUMN)98.4 2-Winston(COLUMN)88.1 3-Kool(COLUMN)60.0 4-Salem(COLUMN)53.9 5-Pall Mall(COLUMN)39.9 6-Kent(COLUMN)30.6 7-Benson & Hedges(COLUMN)24.6 8-Camel(COLUMN)24.4 9-Vantage(COLUMN)17.2 10-Merit(COLUMN)14.4(END TABLE) Tidbits

The ultimate Cosmopolitan cover line, from the November issue: "The Much-Maligned. Often Unreliable, SOMETIMES Magnificent Male Appendage - Root of Our Pain and Pleasure and Life Itself." What next? . . . According to the November issue of International Wildlife, the much-maligned hyena is neither cowardly nor anti-social and is in fact the life of the animal party, so to speak. So there . . .

Fun facts to know and tell from the Oct. 31 New Yorker: "It is more expensive to keep a convicted felon in a maximum-security prison in New York State for a year than to send a young man or woman to an Ivy League college for a year." . . . Guess which industry is booming department: the 75th aniversary issue of Oil and Gas Journal boasted 542 pages . . . For those who are intested, Jack O'Connor "Shares His Shotgun Secrets" in the 1978 Guns & Ammo annual . . . Woody Allen's "A Fan's Notes on Earl Monroe" in the November Sport is plain and simple embarrassing. Stick to your own kind, kid . . . No sooner did the Better Homes & Gardens people announce that their October issue was the largest advertising revenue-producer in magazine history at $8,480,000 than Woman's Day boasted that its Nov. 15 number hit $8,993,096 . . . . Golf Digest's list of the 100 greatest golf courses in America doesn't get to a local course until Congressional makes it in the fourth 10 . . . Southern Living's November cover story is entitled "Time Washes Maryland's Eastern Shore" . . . The Washington based Asia Mail just celebrated its first anniversary . . . All traditionalists will be happy to know that Texas Monthly has decided to continue being printed in Texas. At least someone has standards.