About "facile" - for native US/Canadian speakers of English. Yesterday I asked a question about the word "facile". Based on the responses I got the word is very rarely used in the UK and New Zealand. I didn't get any responses from US or Canadian speakers, so I'm curious to hear if "facile" is equally rare in your part of the English-speaking world. Thanks for your help!
Nov 28, 2017 5:19 PM
Answers · 17
I'm curious whether "facile" in US English rhymes with "tassle" or "fat mile"
November 28, 2017
So I do agree with others that it is not used often. However, I have heard it, and the first phrase that came to mind was, "facile demeanor" (which is not negative). But I also agree that currently, it has acquired a negative connotation. There will be two different tracks of people who will know this word. 1) Currently, clever preteens who participate in the American Spelling Bee. It is the type of word that would appear in the earlier rounds because it can easily be spelled, but it's uncommon and has a French origin (that the Spelling Bee competitions often employ as a challenge). 2) Teenagers who have studied a vocabulary list for the SAT test. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HukyqqkJrA0 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7HiuFAvarQ
November 28, 2017
It's neither rare nor common. It tends to be used by the well-educated. I'm about to do a quick reality check, which is to see whether it shows up in a Google News search in a U.S. source.... and.... it seems to be rarer than I thought. Because it is also a word in French, hits in English are all but drowned out by hits on French-language sources.
November 29, 2017
For me (South and Mid West of US), facile is not one of those French words used AT ALL in American English...like soupe du jour, très, moi, je ne sais quoi, etc are.
November 28, 2017
Hey! I can only speak from my personal experience living in the American South, though I am a relatively well-read individual. Facile is not used very often in any context I've heard. However, when used, it means to appear easy or effortless, glossing over complexities.
November 28, 2017
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