dystopian or dystopic ?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by John McCloud, Feb 11, 2013.

  1. John McCloud Junior Member

    Paris region
    French - France
    How would you describe "Nineteen Eighty-Four" by George Orwell ? A dystopian novel or a dystopic one ? Wordreference only gives the adjective "dystopian" but I have found "dystopic" in some texts. Which one would you use? Would there be a difference, assuming that "dystopic" does exist ?
    Many thanks.
    John
     
  2. lucas-sp Senior Member

    English - Californian
    In almost all contexts, you should probably use "dystopian," which is the common word in English. ("Utopian" is also much, much more common.)

    It would be possible to use "dystopic" only as an explicit contrast to "utopic," which, although it is a word in English, has a more restricted sense and some different connotations than "utopian."
     
  3. cyberpedant

    cyberpedant Senior Member

    North Adams, MA
    English USA, Northeast, NYC
    I recently heard "dystopic" uttered (by Stephen Colbert, if my memory serves me well) on TV and was mightily distressed. My digital OED does not accept it. I believe lucas-sp's comment is spot on.
     
  4. Beryl from Northallerton Moderator

    British English
    I've never heard "Nineteen Eighty-Four" described as dystopic - only dystopian. For what it's worth, here's the Google Ngram Viewer treatment (which I found sightly surprising).
     
  5. cyberpedant

    cyberpedant Senior Member

    North Adams, MA
    English USA, Northeast, NYC
    Again I heard "dystopic" on TV (last night) spoken by Jon Stewart. My guess is that, because of this influence, this form will become more popular. (cf. Harding's "normalcy")
     

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