Extremely OT, sorry... facetious vs. sarcastic, Take II

Subject: Extremely OT, sorry... facetious vs. sarcastic, Take II
From: "Hart, Geoff" <Geoff-H -at- MTL -dot- FERIC -dot- CA>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 29 Jul 2003 09:18:21 -0400

Michael West reports: <<They *are* unrelated, and the difference is not at
all subtle.>>

Etymologically, you're certainly correct--as my own definitions in a
previous message showed. But the perceived relationship arises from the fact
that the denotation and the connotation have begun to diverge, largely
through sloppy use of the two words as synonyms.

But there's more to that relationship than just sloppiness, and that raises
an interesting point. If you make a sarcastic comment that might be really
funny under other circumstances, that comment is also facetious:
inappropriate or clumsy (ill-timed). Conversely, if you make a facetious
comment without being aware of some context that makes the comment very
hurtful, it appears sarcastic to the listener. This is why I said the two
words sometimes seem to overlap.

Techwr-l tie-in? Nothing much for these two specific words. But they
illustrate the point that many words differ in their denotation and
connotation, and it behooves us to be aware of those differences. Also, my
two examples of relatedness demonstrate that how some terms are related
depends on who's doing the speaking and who is listening, plus their
respective contexts. That's also important to recognize.

Okay, it's a stretch. <g>

--Geoff Hart, geoff-h -at- mtl -dot- feric -dot- ca
(try ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca if you get no response)
Forest Engineering Research Institute of Canada
580 boul. St-Jean
Pointe-Claire, Que., H9R 3J9 Canada

Vah! Denuone Latine loquebar? Me ineptum. Interdum modo elabitur. (Oh! Was I
speaking Latin again? Silly me. Sometimes it just sort of slips


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