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pedantic (pe-DAN-tik) adjective

Characterized by a narrow, often ostentatious concern for book learning and formal rules.

[French pedant, or Italian pedante (French, from Italian), possibly from Vulgar Latin *paedens, -paedent-, present participle of -paedere, to instruct, probably from Greek paiduein, from pais, paid-, child + -ic.]

"Mr Updike uses different names for his characters... But the name changes are jarring, and their flavour is pedantic, as if Mr Updike simply wants credit for doing his homework." Witty, wise, then weary, Economist, Feb 19, 2000.

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


Men seek out retreats for themselves in the country, by the seaside, on the moutains... But all this is unphilosophical to the last degree... when thou canst at a moment's notice retire into thyself. -Marcus Aelius Aurelius

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