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