Please help me understand the semantics and connotation of the word "pedantical" so that I can use it in different sentences.

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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The word "pedantical" is an adjective that stems form the root word "pedant". The word pedant is an archaism that when it was first used, referred to an overly-bookish academician with a penchant to show off knowledge excessively.

In modern usage, something pedantic refers to anything which denotes qualities of ostentatious behavior. This word, in turn, can mean a diversity of things to be applied depending on the situation. It could be anything from

  • conceited
  • flamboyant
  • braggy-ish
  • the want to appear smarter

Hence, something "pedantical" refers to a person, or action, that try to evoke a sense of over-importance.

Although the adjective "pedantic" is more widely-used than "pedantical" in a sentence, in some cases you can use the worlds interchangeably. For example:

  • His behavior is pedantical (simple sentence).
  • It would be pedantical to try to act as if you are smarter than what you really are.
  • The witness made a pedantic comment about his pedantical demeanor.

Notice how pedantic and pedantical are both adjectives but when "pedantical" is used is more to denote a pattern of behavior rather than a sudden behavior.

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