Classic and classical (was: What's the difference between...)

Alexei Frounze:
On the same note,
what's the difference between classic and classical as adjectives?

"Classical" relates to a specific time period in the past when the
thing you're talking about had a specific form that some people see
as its best or most characteristic form, or to that particular form.
"Classical Latin" refers to Latin as spoken in a certain time period
about 2000 years ago. "Classical music" refers to music as written
in a certain time period about 300 years ago.

"Classic" refers to a thing that is sure to be long remembered because
it is one of the best of its kind. Some people prefer the word to
be restricted to things that are not new, because then we *know* how
well they have been remembered; others use it of new things, in effect
making a prediction. A second meaning is to refer to something that
is excellent *as an example of something* (it could be something bad):
"He had a classic case of sociopathy."

Or better yet, exactly what kind of difference does the -al suffix make?

Unfortunately, it doesn't have a specific meaning; it's just a way of
forming adjectives that's sometimes used and sometimes not. When both
forms exist, you just have to learn them individually.
Mark Brader "Outside of nearly having two head-on collisions,
msb@xxxxxxx we found driving in England to be fairly easy."
Toronto -- Cher Classick

My text in this article is in the public domain.

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