Part of speech:
(Adjectives are describing words, like “large” or “late.”
They can be used in two ways:
1. Right before a noun, as in “a bathetic photograph.”
2. After a linking verb, as in "The photograph was bathetic.”)
Bathos is emotion that's way overdone and usually insincere, too.
So, something bathetic is very sentimental in an extreme way or in a faked way.
How to use it:
Talk about a bathetic awards ceremony, a bathetic soap opera, a bathetic novel or scene, a bathetic statement or declaration, a sob story full of bathetic details, and so on.
My husband and I once attended a fantastic nerd convention. He entered a contest to see who could do the most bathetic impersonation of William Shatner screaming "KHANNN!"
The official song of my high school was supposed to inspire school spirit and devotion, but it was a slow, bathetic, clumsy thing that we all murmured our way through, with lyrics like "we will e'er be true" and "we adore thee."
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "bathetic" means when you can explain it without saying “mushy" or "dramatic."
Think of a commercial that makes you laugh because it's outrageously cheesy, and fill in the blanks: "That bathetic ad for _____ is (intentionally/unintentionally) hilarious; it (shows/implies) _____."
Example: "That bathetic ad for yogurt is unintentionally hilarious; it implies that eating a cup of that stuff will make me swoon in ecstasy."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
Our game for July is called A Verbal Tour of the US. I’ll ask you a trivia question each day this month about the names of US cities, states, geographic features, etc. Try it out each day, and see the right answer the next day. Happy verbal trails to you!
If you take a look at the name of this eastern Tennessee city known for being the headquarters of the Eastman Chemical Company, you might not be sure if the city’s name means “a port belonging to one or more male monarchs” or “a sport related to a male monarch.” I had to look it up to learn that it means the former—it’s a reference to an area on the Holston River. What’s the city’s name?
Answer: Kingsport. King’s port, kings’ port, or king sport? It’s “king’s port.” Whew.
Try this one today:
If you’re planning a nice, safe, peaceful trip across the US this summer, you probably don’t want to stop in H_____, Nebraska (too dangerous!) or H___, Michigan (scary and hot!). What are these places called? And of course, I’m joking about their descriptions, but yes, they are real.
A Point Well Made:
Oliver Sacks: “…I rarely look at the journals I have kept for the greater part of a lifetime. The act of writing is itself enough; it serves to clarify my thoughts and feelings. The act of writing is an integral part of my mental life; ideas emerge, are shaped, in the act of writing.”
1. The opposite of BATHETIC is
2. The show reached new depths of bathos in the scene where _____
A. the main character spends way too long soaking in the tub.
B. the villain witnesses his failed plans and sobs, "Nooooo! Whyyyyyy?!"
C. the wrongly imprisoned twins succeed in their brilliant plot to escape.
Answers are below.
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Make Your Point is crafted with love and brought to you each day for free by Mrs. Liesl Johnson, M.Ed., a word lover, learning enthusiast, and private tutor of reading and writing in the verdant little town of Hilo, Hawaii. For writing tips, online learning, essay guidance, and more, please visit www.HiloTutor.com.
Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Answers to review questions:
A highly recommended,
Sweeping Forward tackles mental health through film.
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