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    #1

    Is "flippant" an esoteric word?

    The word "flippant" denotes the lack of proper respect or seriousness. In the link followed are some latest instants that the word was used. http://www.vocabulary.com/dictionary/flippant
    However, whenever I utilized that vocable, most natives I know didn't understand it. They even said they had never heard of the word before. I was really surprised, because "flippant" even appears in learners' dictionaries such as Oxford or Longman, and thus I had never thought of it as being so esoteric.
    Therefore, I'd like to ask for your opinion. Do you know that word "flippant" and how many percent of the native speakers' population do you think will understand it?
    Thank you so very much.
    Please notify me of any mistakes in my posts. It is much appreciated.

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    #2

    Re: Is "flippant" an esoteric word?

    Quote Originally Posted by khanhhung2512 View Post
    Do you know that word "flippant" and how many percent of the native speakers' population do you think will understand it?
    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    1. Yes, I know it. And I think it is a wonderful word.

    2. I would like to think that college graduates know that word. If they do not, then I would have to worry about the future of the country.

    3. I have a terrible feeling that the majority of the American people do not have this word in their active vocabulary. That is to say, they do not use it in their speech.
    But they probably have it in their passive vocabulary. That is to say, when they hear it said in context, they can probably guess that it has a negative connotation.

    4. When I read your thread title, I immediately thought of a world leader who was criticized by many people last year for being too flippant regarding a current problem in the world. ((I cannot be more specific, for this is strictly a language website.)



    James

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Is "flippant" an esoteric word?

    Most people I know would understand it.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  2. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Is "flippant" an esoteric word?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Most people I know would understand it.
    Me too.

  3. Grumpy's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Is "flippant" an esoteric word?

    Me too.
    I'm not a teacher of English, but I have spoken it for (almost) all of my life....

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    #6

    Re: Is "flippant" an esoteric word?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheParser View Post
    2. I would like to think that college graduates know that word. If they do not, then I would have to worry about the future of the country.

    3. I have a terrible feeling that the majority of the American people do not have this word in their active vocabulary. That is to say, they do not use it in their speech.
    But they probably have it in their passive vocabulary. That is to say, when they hear it said in context, they can probably guess that it has a negative connotation.
    NOT A TEACHER
    I asked an English middle school teacher in America and an Australian undergraduate aspiring to become a journalist, and they didn't know that word.
    En passant, as I studied it, flippant expression can occasionally be humorous, depending on the point of view. Am I wrong?
    Last edited by khanhhung2512; 14-Feb-2015 at 15:27.
    Please notify me of any mistakes in my posts. It is much appreciated.

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    #7

    Re: Is "flippant" an esoteric word?

    In British English, it is a reasonably common and ordinary word.

  4. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: Is "flippant" an esoteric word?

    In US English as well.

  5. Raymott's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: Is "flippant" an esoteric word?

    It's common enough in Australian, but a teenager might not have heard of it yet.

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    #10

    Re: Is "flippant" an esoteric word?

    'Flippant' is a less esoteric word than 'esoteric'.

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