historic と historical の違い

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民主党大敗を報じる The Washington Timesの見出しはThe Democrats are on the verge of a historical defeat。 やはり格落ちの所はhistoricとhistoricalを使い分けられないようで。 (@hinatakiyoto)

というツイートがあって,historic と historical の違いが気になったので調べてみた(正確には聞いてみた). 詳細は,

Historic and historical have different usages, though their senses overlap. Historic refers to what is important in history: the historic first voyage to the moon. It is also used of what is famous or interesting because of its association with persons or events in history: a historic house.Historical refers to whatever existed in the past, whether regarded as important or not: a minor historical character. Historical also refers to anything concerned with history or the study of the past: a historical novel; historical discoveries. While these distinctions are useful, these words are often used interchangeably, as in historic times or historical times. (the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.)

ということで,historical defeat だと,歴史的な方法で負けたとか古典的な戦術に負けたとかの意味になるのだろうか. ちなみに,-ic と -ical でどう意味が変わるのかの決まったルールは無いらしいので,個別に覚えていくしかなさそう.