What does "laconic" mean?

Jesse Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Thu Aug 18 03:00:22 UTC 2005

On Wed, Aug 17, 2005 at 10:51:43PM -0400, Baker, John wrote:
>         Are you sure that laconic did not refer to the first-person
> narrator of the text, rather than the actor who recorded the audiobook?

Yes, it was very clear in context.

I then followed up by asking the poster what she meant by
_laconic_, and she replied, "Jester, interesting question. I
guess I meant reserved, lacking in emotion, flat. The kind of
manner I think of in association with laconic speech. Lacking
in affect.  Now I'm trying to think of a better word to sum
that all up, but am blanking."

>         In any case, it isn't too surprising that well-educated
> 20-somethings would think that "laconic" means "without expressed
> emotion."  After all, "laconic" derives from Greek lakonikos, referring
> to Sparta, and the Spartans certainly have that reputation.  Or perhaps
> I'm giving the 20-somethings too much credit.

Oh, yes.

Jesse Sheidlower

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