Author Topic: laconic / terse replies  (Read 627 times)

Offline bookworm

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laconic / terse replies
« on: January 08, 2022, 04:41:02 pm »
Let's say Mary and Jane were best friends in high school when people only had landlines. They went to different colleges in different states, but they would still talk on the phone for several hours during weekends in their first two years. In their third year, Mary became cold and started giving out short replies to Jane's questions, and their calls lasted only several minutes. If you want to find out what's happening to her, you must ask the question, and there's no enthusiasm in her response. One day, one of their classmates asked Jane how Mary is doing.

   I don't know. I stopped calling her when she started giving out laconic replies.​
   I don't know. I stopped calling her when she started giving out terse replies.​

I'm not sure, but the adjective laconic seems rarely used and slightly formal. Probably, terse is neutral and can be used in casual speech.
English is my second language.

Offline admin

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Re: laconic / terse replies
« Reply #1 on: January 08, 2022, 06:08:29 pm »
It could be either; but "terse" to me conveys the additional sense of irritation. "Laconic" has a slight sense of laziness or indolence.
Best wishes,

Duncan