Community Web Version Now Available
Troglodyte
Do you think the "Delete" and "Backspace" keys are synonyms to each other?

I think most of the time we use the "Backspace", so we might not be aware of the "Delete" key. However, from the name, everyone can easily say that the function of the "Delete" key is to delete. Hmm.. So, if "Delete' is there to delete, then what is the need of the "Backspace"!? Even if the function of both the keys are same(to delete), yet they work differently. Backspace deletes letters backwardly whereas the Delete deletes forwardly.

My intention was not to enlighten you about these keys rather I used them as an analogy.  

Have you ever thought why there was a need to invent many words which we often refer as "Synonyms" and use them interchangeably?

Do you think we are still missing something or we don't really know where EXACTLY we should use them?

Do you think the word "Synonyms" was invented to hide our ignorance about the proper usage of those words? There are many questions popping in my mind... but let me stop here!:D

I am looking forward to reading your thoughts and any interesting info if you would like to share, so I am not going to try to find/ look for/ search for the answer:D

Wish you all have a beautiful/pleasant/satisfying/gratifying.....day:))


May 1, 2019 10:02 AM
9
5
Comments · 9
Interestingly, "synonym" doesnt' seem to have a synonym, while antonym has an antonym.
May 1, 2019

@Troglodyte

No, Russian doesn't have that many synonyms with different nuances compared to English. I've read quite a lot of books in both English and Russian, and I've written quite a lot of essays in both English and Russian. When compared to English, Russian synonyms are a bit... limited. Many words that exist in English don't even exist in Russian...

I hope when I get better at Japanese and Chinese, I can explore synonyms in those languages as well. I feel like Chinese might have just as vast a variety of synonyms as English.

May 2, 2019
In the book 1984 the government tries hard to reduce the number of words in the language, for example by removing all synonyms for each meaning. I guess they don't care very much about repetition and elegant variation.

If you already know English it's great to have so many synonyms available but I'm sure it makes it more difficult for learners.
May 1, 2019

Interesting discussion topic as always, Troglodyte. You think deeply and come up with great questions in the end.

The most important thing about the existence of "synonyms" is to avoid words repetition.

Take for example the following paragraph which seems in need of synonyms help:

Yasmine is smart. Nirmeen has always thought that Yasmine is smart but didn't declare it to her which wasn't a very smart decision to make. Moreover, Nirmeen rarely does smart actions. But she wishes to abolish that and start doing smart ones. That was indeed very smart of her.

May 1, 2019

Many synonyms carry different connotations. This is one of the reasons I love Merriam-Webster: for many entries, they will list the synonyms of the word you've typed and explain the nuances of using them. This section of the dictionary is called "choose the right synonym". For example, if you enter the word "languid", it says this:

LANGUID, LANGUOROUS, LACKADAISICAL, LISTLESS, SPIRITLESS mean lacking energy or enthusiasm. LANGUID refers to an unwillingness or inability to exert oneself due to fatigue or physical weakness. "was depressed and languid for weeks after surgery" LANGUOROUS suggests a dreamy boredom and delicacy that avoids unnecessary activity. "languorous cats lying in the sun" LACKADAISICAL implies a carefree indifference marked by half-hearted efforts. "lackadaisical college seniors pretending to study" LISTLESS suggests a lack of interest caused by physical weakness or dissatisfied boredom. "listless hospital patients" "listless children flipping through picture books on a rainy day" SPIRITLESS refers to a lack of animation or vigor that gives one's actions and words life. "a spiritless recital of the poem"

This is why we have synonyms, to express ourselves better. And this is why I love English, for its wealth of synonyms. Truly an untapped treasure trove for a writer.
May 1, 2019
Show More
Troglodyte
Language Skills
Akan Twi, English, Esperanto, German, Other, Persian (Farsi), Russian, Spanish
Learning Language
Akan Twi, English, Esperanto, German, Persian (Farsi), Russian, Spanish