Submitted by ericguyer on March 7, 2005

affectatious

Is this a real word? Can’t find it in dictionaries, but commonly used as found by web search.

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It's in the Oxford English Dictionary as an adjective: "Of the nature of affectation. (In the quotation read instead of affectations in Shakespeare's Merry Wives I. i. 152.)" Also noted as obsolete and rare. In addition, one quotation is listed: "1687 M. CLIFFORD Notes on Dryden iii. 12 For to me, as Parson Hugh says in Shakespear, they seemed Lunacies, it is mad as a mad Dog, it is affectatious."

Hope that helps.

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You can also use "affected" to mean the same thing, ie "an affected accent".

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I have never _heard_ <affectatious> in modern use where it was not a corruption of <efficacious>. I notice people in speaking are quite confused between using <affect> and <effect> and <affectatious> can be a passive-aggresive reflection of the confusion. I had no idea the word could actually mean <affectation> and <affected>, but I believe this is a long obsolete usage and peoples' intended meaning is probably <efficacious> . . . If I was to use the word and expect to be understodd, I would have to define the word by a context, i.e.. "Spelling on line, you may have noticed, is affectatious- utterly atrocious."

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Hi,

<painintheenglish.com> was top of a google search for 'affectatious'.

I've decided on 'affectatious' as the best word to use in the following sentence, but I wanted to check up on the word because my Websters doesn't have it. I like it. Here's the sentence:

"In my novel, should I use the word 'dahling' for 'darling' when spoken by an affectatious woman?"

i.e. A woman with affectations, a lá Betty Davis in some of her movies.

I like this site and will put it in my list of dictionaries.

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In my opinion, this word sounds more affected/affectatious than it is possible to swallow nowadays. Some long dormant words, like sleeping dogs, should be left to lie and fade away.
I must hie me hence, my postillion has been struck by lightning...

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If affectatious truly means ""of the nature of affectation" then I think that "In my novel, should I use the word 'dahling' for 'darling' when spoken by an affectatious woman?" would be incorrect. Only the action can be affectatious, not the person carrying out the action. An affected person does something affectatious. Affectious is also a word, but seems to mean something completely different.

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My son has decided to call his newly born son Theodore. I think this is affectatious - middle class elitist twaddle.

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I cannot seem to find any good synonyms for 'camp' and I thought that perhaps affectatious might fit in the place of the word 'camp' in my photograph caption (rendered here):

"Myself as The Mourner during a rather affectatiously rendered production of a highly unbelievable photo-story in exaggerated make-up and costumes and highly posed shots, staged by myself and two others. It was all in all a rather artsy and ridiculous affair."

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Affectatious is obsolete and has pretty much been replaced by affected anyway. Of course your character should say 'dahling' if you want her to – she's your creation – and there's no need to add "in an affected accent" or anything else, the dahling says it all, unless of course you want to imply that she puts on the dog, but I presume you would have done that when you introduced her.

Incidentally, listen closely to the way people speak. It can help your writing a lot. To my ear, women – and camp fellers – tend to pronounce it 'dhahling'.

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Hey, hey, hey, now! I love obsolete words! The art of the tongue and pen. If we did away with obsolete words, would it not become impossible to decipher such works as Shakespeare and those of his contemporaries?

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It would indeed. And just because they're obsolete it doesn't necessarily follow that they should be expurgated from the language. Just imagine if they removed all the words that "access" is replacing.

Back to affectatious for a moment; did Shakespeare make it up because he was stuck for an existing word to fit? He did, after all, coin quite a few new words to suit his purpose.

"My son has decided to call his newly born son Theodore. I think this is affectatious – middle class elitist twaddle." Why not "…this is an affectation on his part…"?

But thinking about it again, I rather like affectatious.

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Main Entry:af*fec*ta*tion
Pronunciation:*a-*fek-*t*-sh*n
Function:noun

: an attitude or behavior that is assumed by a person but not genuinely felt

Merriam-Webster's Dictionary

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Use may be regional. In my native Los Angeles, "affectatious" was in regular (well... not infrequent) use, unlike "affected", which can cause confusion. In the UK, I have heard the latter, but not the former. Likewise, there are many words used regularly in the UK that have fallen out of modern use in much of the US.

On a separate note regarding language evolution, I'm forcing myself to write "use", rather than "usage" which has become acceptable professional jargon in my field.

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affectatious — pretentious, artificial, or doing something just for show.

"At the same time, American intellectual and artistic elites, … help create a sophisticated, if sometimes affectatious urban mentality." — The Hidden Handshake: National Identity and Europe in the Post-Communist World ... by Aleš Debeljak, p54 (2009)

Synonym: affected (#2)
OED:
affected |əˈfektid|
adjective
1 influenced or touched by an external factor: apply moist heat to the affected area.
2 artificial, pretentious, and designed to impress: the gesture appeared both affected and stagy.

Shorter and more eathly understood synonyms: fake, sham, feigned

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WHEN DINNING OUT AND I OBSERVE PEOPLE DRESSED BEYOND THIER MEANS...IT WOULD BE APPROPRIATE TO DESCRIBE THEM AS:

"MOLTO AFFECTATIOUS" or in the vulger tongue as "CAFONES"

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"Affectatious" serves another useful purpose; it isn't ambiguous like "affected".

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