A condescending tone is one in which a haughty attitude is shown or implied, in which the speaker looks down on the reader from a position of (real or perceived) superiority.  It is very similar to a contemptuous tone, with the main difference being that condescension emphasizes the speaker’s superiority, whereas a contemptuous tone focuses more on the lowliness of the subject discussed.


An excuse for presenting a translation of this curious tale, out of its very insular Latin into the modern tongue of the United Kingdom, may be found in the glimpse that it affords of life in a dark period of the history of Britain, not to mention the light that it throws on the origin of some difficult place-names. Some may find the character and adventures of its hero attractive in themselves.

--J.R.R. Tolkien – “Farmer Giles of Ham”



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