1. MatrixGravity
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    MatrixGravity Member

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    Words to describe somebody who is always serious?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by MatrixGravity, Apr 9, 2012.

    What are some words to adequately describe somebody who rarely smiles in the presence of a joke, or just overall smiles reluctantly? Is there a word for it? Perhaps is it a name of a disorder?

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  2. Anitorious
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    Anitorious New Member

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    British, Reserved, Constained, Withdrawn, Icy, Bitter, Sour, Reticant, Solitary, Confined to name a few :D
     
  3. MatrixGravity
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    MatrixGravity Member

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    Ahh thank you very much :).
     
  4. Berber
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    Berber Member

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    Somber, humorless, austere, grave, cold, rigid, grim, solemn, stern... The thesaurus is full of 'em. ;)
     
  5. Trilby
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    Trilby Senior Member Contributor

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    I knew a girl once, she never laughed along with everyone else at a joke; she just looked at everyone else with a blank look on her face, then minutes later ( the conversation could by now have turned serious) for no apparent reason she would burst out laughing, when asked what she was laughing at she would refere back to the joke; she had just got it. It was as if she was living a few minutes behind time.

    She died young. It turned out that she suffered a rare illness. I don't know the name of the illness and if I did I doubt I'd be able to spell it.

    However I'll try to explain it. When a baby is born the skull is divided into four sections. It is this division of the skull that allows it (and thereby the brain contained within it) to grow and only when the brain is fully formed and grown should the skull be come one solid complete object. At the age of about twelve of thirteen the brain has a spurt of growth and then the skull can be come solid. Apparently, the girl in question, her skull became fully formed and solid before her brain was fully developed. That is what we were told after she had died. How true this is; I don't know. It made sense to me at the time and I believe it, but I don't honestly know.
     
  6. RowenaFW
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    RowenaFW New Member

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    Sad story, Trillby.

    I'd suggest you use thesaurus.com. It's not the best, but it's an easy, on-hand electronic tool. You just need a starting point.

    One of my characters is very serious.

    Here are some words I have used for him:

    Stern, curt, arithmetical, unsympathetic, disapproving, not easy to communicate with, austere, pernickety, serious, dismissive, agonising slowness, disparaging, tense...
     
  7. art
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    art Senior Member Contributor

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    Earnest is a good fit. I imagine the good folks at the DSM are right now pressing for it to be incorporated in the next installment of their comic.

    - a no doubt ill-remembered joke - which I'm sure has a long heritage - from the Long Kiss Goodnight.

    Easter larks, eh!
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    joking aside, 'earnest' wouldn't fit at all, imo... it only refers to a level of honesty and forthrightness and not to one's societal behavior or emotional state...

    i'd call such a person 'aloof' or 'emotionally detached'... and yes, there are dsm iv-listed disorders that fit this type...
     
  9. art
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    art Senior Member Contributor

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    Earnest refers, rather happily, to a disposition characterised by seriousness. Attend to usage and etymology.
    It can also be used as you would have it used.
     
  10. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    joking aside, 'earnest' wouldn't fit at all, imo... it only refers to a level of honesty and forthrightness and not to one's societal behavior or emotional state...

    i'd call such a person 'aloof' or 'emotionally detached'... and yes, there are dsm iv-listed disorders that fit this type...
     
  11. art
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    art Senior Member Contributor

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    :eek:
    Mammamaia: I think between us, we have managed to win the internet.
     
  12. Just Jon
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    Just Jon New Member

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    Would stoic fit? It's not quite the same thing, I know, but the word came to mind when you described the situation.
     
  13. frzkafka
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    frzkafka New Member

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    try DSM IV under 'personality disorders' a person with borderline personality disorder lies without emotion, doesn't laugh, it can be quite dangerous i just joined this forum so if this shows up in the wrong spot sorry mike
     
  14. art
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    art Senior Member Contributor

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    Right spot, Mike. Worth keeping in mind that a person would not - customarily - be diagnosed as having BPD solely on the basis of being unremittingly earnest! If we stretch seriousness to anhedonia, it is but one symptom among many and need not be present.

    I perhaps mistake MG's requirements but I think a commonplace synonym for seriousness would be a better bet than going down pathological paths. There's a slight tension between MG's bolded question and his text.

    Stoic wouldn't quite work Jon. A stoic is someone who always wears clean boxer shorts just in case he gets knocked over. Which is to say they are a great bunch of lads and Epictetus, especially and famously, has a delightful sense of humour.
     
  15. Trilby
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    Trilby Senior Member Contributor

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  16. art
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    art Senior Member Contributor

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    Great choice, Trilby, but I raise you:

    Yorkshireman.:)
     
  17. Trilby
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    Trilby Senior Member Contributor

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    Okay art, you win.
     
  18. aimeekath
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    aimeekath New Member

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