Basic internet search seems to show the pedanticism is a less commonly used word for pedantry. But I couldn't find much in terms of what I would consider "canonical resources"

  1. Are they both words?
  2. Are they synonyms?

Sincerely want to know, the irony is a side effect.

  • 3
    Oxford definitions: PEDANTRY [mass noun] Excessive concern with minor details and rules. ‘to object to this is not mere pedantry’. PEDANTICISM [noun] Pedantry; a piece of pedantry, a pedantic expression or idea. There is an overlap but you can not always use them interchangeably.
    – MetaEd
    Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 20:02
  • well, not both of them are words. "Pedanticism" doesn't really exist. The form "pedanticism" (instead of, say more natural sounding form of "pedantism"), is a recent 'calque' coined by alien English speaking people mostly from the east European countries who don't really master English. Commented Oct 8, 2016 at 7:32

3 Answers 3


The OED defines them as follows:

Pedantry, n.

  1. The character, habit of mind, or practice of a pedant.
    a. Mere academic learning, without judgement or discrimination; excessive reverence for or display of learning or technical knowledge; intellectual conceit.
    b. Excessive or undue concern for petty details; slavish adherence to formal precision, rules, or literal meaning.
  2. As a count noun: an instance of pedantic behaviour; a pedantic form of expression.

Pedanticism, n.

   Pedantry; a piece of pedantry, a pedantic expression or idea.

So...yes. They are both words that are recognized by the OED. Pedantry has been around since the 1600s and pedanticism since the 1800s, which means to me that the former is the proper (original) word and the latter is one derived by the people that was used often enough that it has been adopted into the standard language.


Pedantry is a noun. Pedanticism is an action noun that describe the practice of being Pedant

  • 3
    Do you have any references for this assertion?
    – Chenmunka
    Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 18:02
  • @Chenmunka Not specifically for the both words, but the Suffix Ism in the word Pedanticism slightly make the difference between the two words. dictionary.com/browse/-ism Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 18:12
  1. Yes. I can unhesitatingly assume you mean the written form, and they are both, without a doubt, word-like sequences of letters that understandably express an idea. And are even spelled correctly.

  2. Yes. But words being ordinarily synonymous does not imply the logico-mathematical substitutionary principle.

  • While I do understand that you're trying to be pedantic here, any comical aspect that it may have would be far better if you also answered the question well. I like the idea, but the execution might be a bit off ;) Commented Oct 14, 2016 at 16:50

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

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