Saturday, February 28, 2009

pedant: Word of the Day Word of the Day

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Word of the Day for Saturday, February 28, 2009

pedant \PED-nt\, noun:

a person who makes a show of detailed knowledge, esp. relying on books; also, a narrow-minded teacher or scholar

All too often, science fiction provokes the pedant in professional scientists, for whom a beautiful story can be ruined by a single petty error.
-- Jerry A. Coyne, The Truth Is Way Out There, New York Times, October 10, 1999
Yet Eyton is no little pedant; he confesses frankly that for a boy of 9 he does not know much Greek, though his Latin is adequate.
-- Robertson Davies, Speaking Of Books, New York Times, February 14, 1962

c 1586, "schoolmaster," from Middle French pédant, from Italian pedante "teacher, schoolmaster," apparently an alteration of Late Latin paedagogantem, from paedagogare. Meaning "person who trumpets minor points of learning" first recorded 1593. Entry and Pronunciation for pedant

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