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didactic (dy-DAK-tik) also didactical (-ti-kal) adjective

1. Intended to instruct.

2. Morally instructive.

3. Inclined to teach or moralize excessively.

4. didactics, (used with a singular verb) the art or science of teaching.

[Greek didaktikos, skillful in teaching, from didaktos, taught, from didaskein, didak-, to teach, educate.]

"Tt might be argued that literature has only very rarely represented character. Even the greatest novelists, such as Dostoevsky and Tolstoy, resort to stock caricature, didactic speaking over characters, repetitive leitmotifs, and so on. The truly unhostaged writer, such as Chekhov, is rare." James Wood, Human, all too inhuman, New Republic, Jul 24, 2000.

This week's theme: words from the world of learning and the learned.


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