English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

According to Dictionary.com, Pedantic can mean

ostentatious in one's learning

Ostentatious means to show off , to attract attention.

The way I interpret it is that

one is so focused on learning that he attracts attention

It sound wrong to me, how does one interpret Pedantic when it is used as above? What are some examples sentence?

share|improve this question

closed as off-topic by FumbleFingers, StoneyB, tchrist, Josh61, choster May 18 '14 at 21:20

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Questions that can be answered using commonly-available references are off-topic. A list of these references can be found here: List of general references" – FumbleFingers, StoneyB, tchrist, Josh61, choster
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Look at the definition again: ostentatious is not a verb but an adjective. In this sense, pedantic means "calling attention to one's learning". – StoneyB May 18 '14 at 18:10
Another definition for pedantic says Characterized by a narrow, often ostentatious concern for book learning and formal rules. Forget the "attracts attention" idea, and think of pedant as denoting a person who calls attention to things (usually, which he knows/thinks are "incorrect"). – FumbleFingers May 18 '14 at 18:15

Pedantic means like a pedant, someone who is too concerned about literal accuracy or formality. It's a negative term that implies that someone is showing off book learning or trivia, especially in a tiresome way. You don't want to go antique-shopping with a pedantic friend, who will use the opportunity to bore you with his in-depth knowledge of Chinese porcelain kitty-litter boxes.

share|improve this answer
Hey, what have you got against the willingness to share an in-depth knowledge of Chinese porcelain kitty-litter boxes? – Edwin Ashworth May 18 '14 at 18:46
@EdwinAshworth Personally, I see nothing wrong with it. – Elian May 18 '14 at 18:51

People seem to have missed the main point here.

The root is pedes meaning 'foot'. So it means thinking in a pedestrian fashion, i.e. slowly and deliberately, with intricate analyses of the minute detail - whilst perhaps ignoring the bigger picture.

Oxford Dictionaries says: 'Overly concerned with minor details or rules; overscrupulous' e.g.his analyses are careful and even painstaking, but never pedantic.

Under the meaning of pedant the showing-off aspect is included as a secondary point, but it is given prime importance in the full OED entry.

share|improve this answer

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.