Tag Archive - Pitiful

Pity the Fool

Maybe you’re familiar with 1980’s pop icon Mr. T’s catchphrase “pity the fool,” and think it originated with him.

Not so. Literature—all the way back to the Bible—includes the concept of evoking sympathy for those less fortunate. But as Mr. T’s strutting, arrogant delivery makes clear, pity has a range of connotations.

In the purest sense, pity is a sympathetic sorrow for another’s physical or mental distress or misfortunes.

Add the suffix less and you have the antonym to pity—pitiless—which means “to show no pity.” Dickens had a pitiless person in mind when he created Ebenezer Scrooge, the cruel and merciless boss in A Christmas Carol. Continue Reading…