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But 2011 has brought a crop of foreign-language films in which po-faced pedantry has taken a back seat to dynamic storytelling, from Belgium's "Bullhead," which uses a mob movie framework to explore the adult aftermath of childhood sexual assault, to Mexico's "Miss Bala," which takes on the hot-button topic of narco-trafficking via a suspense thriller about a beauty pageant contestant (Stephanie Sigman) kidnapped and coerced to work for a crime cartel.
In my days at university - admittedly a century ago when pedantry was alive and well - hype was thought to be a bad thing, implying a promise that could not be delivered.
There is, no doubt, something that makes camp, but all that pedantry seems pointless to the cabin group roasting marshmallows around a campfire or the camper riding piggy back on his counselor.
She said the characteristics of Kate's right-slanting cursive script, which reflects her pedantry for time keeping, intelligence and efficiency, are helpful in shedding light on her private persona and, in particular, her natural aptitude for academia.
When it comes to food, I do have a pedantry about me.
The world's media picked up on the story, mocking UBS both for taking micromanagement to an all-time low, and epitomising Switzerland's stereotypical pedantry.
There's a poetic, at times almost hypnotic relentlessness to Kitson's delivery, its forensic and intellectual exploration of the minutiae of life melding with a caressing wordplay, from the detailed cataloguing of Gregory's letters - all 30,659 of them, to delightful pronouncements such as "I absolutely love a loft" or telling us that Gregory was "a man not unversed in the dark arts of pedantry.
This is precision but not pedantry, subtlety but not effeminacy, real solemnity and joy and not their empty substitutes.
Pedantry and mastery are opposite attitudes toward rules.
However, the pedantry is relieved by Fleming's creative symbols and metaphors that reduce unmanageably large concepts to something like Chinese characters.
But for others who love beauty and would like better to understand what it is they love and why, this book offers on every page and understanding without pedantry, clarity without dogma, insight without mystique.
Get a grip: Dramaturgy, its associations with pedantry and esoterica notwithstanding, can make for enlightening, even exhilarating, journalism