Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day: sophistic(al); sophic(al).

sophistic(al); sophic(al). These words have opposite connotations. The former (usually "sophistical") means "quibbling, specious, or captious in reasoning." The latter (usually "sophic") means "learned; intellectual." "Sophistical," the disparaging term, is more common — e.g.: o "His sophistical alibi that he has a duty and responsibility to bless the rest of the nation with his political genius has more the smell of naked ambition than selfless magnanimity." "Wilson Can't Hide for Long," S.F. Chron., 27 Mar. 1995, at A18. o "It doesn't require state attorneys general filing sophistical lawsuits to 'recover' smokers' medical costs." Jeff Jacoby, "So the Tobacco Industry Lied," Austin Am.-Statesman, 8 Apr. 1997, at A11. For information about the Language-Change Index, click here. ——————– Quotation of the Day: "Language uses us as much as we use language. As much as our choice of forms of expression is guided by the thoughts we want to express, to the same extent the way we feel about the things in the real world governs the way we express ourselves about these things." Robin Lakoff, Language and Woman's Place 3 (1975).
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