Pathetic in Pathetic Fallacy

Veeen

New Member
English - Canada
Hi!

What does the word pathetic in pathetic fallacy mean?

Does it mean what it is commonly meant, pitiful or weak? Because, it seems to me that pitiful and weak have nothing to do with the meaning of pathetic fallacy.

It would make more sense if it had to do with giving inanimate objects human emotion, but I haven't found any definition of it in any dictionary that would suggest so.
 
  • ash93

    Senior Member
    England, United Kingdom - English but can speak Urdu, Memon and Hindi
    Hi!

    What does the word pathetic in pathetic fallacy mean?

    Does it mean what it is commonly meant, pitiful or weak? Because, it seems to me that pitiful and weak have nothing to do with the meaning of pathetic fallacy.

    It would make more sense if it had to do with giving inanimate objects human emotion, but I haven't found any definition of it in any dictionary that would suggest so.
    I think this might help:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pathetic_fallacy
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Greeting Veeen,
    Consider this:

    pathos A
    noun
    1 pathos

    a quality that arouses emotions (especially pity or sorrow);


    You might wish to think of the pathetic fallacy as a form of anthropomorphism.
     

    Outsider

    Senior Member
    Portuguese (Portugal)
    The word "pathetic" originally meant "worthy of pity", as in "poor fellow". There was nothing derogatory about it; it was meant literally.
    But with time being "worthy of pity" came to be seen as something negative, because it implied you didn't have the upper hand, you weren't in control. Hence the modern negative connotation of "pathetic".
     

    Veeen

    New Member
    English - Canada
    Thanks to everyone that helped.

    Looking at the Greek roots of the word pathetic, I think I understand.
    I found it a bit hard to understand because of the negative connotation of pathetic, like Outsider said.
     
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