Classical Usage: We just get a teensy glimpse into Isabel’s relationship with her brother-in-law in Chapter IV, but it seems like a fairly funny one. After a sharp little remark about our heroine, Edward Ludlow’s wife, Isabel’s sister, responds to her husband, “If I were not sure you only said that for argument I should feel very badly, . . .But you know you love her” “Do you know I love you?” the young man said, jocosely, to Isabel a little later, while he brushed his hat. “I’m sure I don’t care whether you do or not”! exclaimed the girl.
Classically Mad Usage: I have a brother-in-law that I’m just waiting to use this word on. We can never tell if he’s seriously, or jocosely giving us information. We do love him, though.