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A couple of questions about meaning Recently I've met several sentences in books which I do not understand correctly. Could you please explain the differences between these words? 1. From Heinlein's Door Into Summer: "You must never pat a cat, you stroke it." What's the difference between PAT and STROKE? It seems for me in Russian we have a single word for both these actions. 2. From Carl Sagan's Contact: "Joss: But you know the physician's staff, the symbol of medicine? Army doctors wear it on their lapels. It's called the caduceus. Shows two serpents intertwined. It's a perfect double helix. Ellie: Well, I thought it's a spiral, not a helix." I tried to google some images but it didn't help as the results of "helix" search is almost only DNA schemes =) And for me, DNA and caduceus look almost the same. Is there any extra meaning or is Ellie making smth up in order to win the argument? =)))
Feb 12, 2012 5:20 PM
Answers · 7
For many people, petting and stroking are the same. For me, petting implies a light, superficial touch, perhaps a pat rather than moving the hand along the fur. Stroking gives a picture of long slow contact. Some people might disagree, but my picture agrees with Heinlein's. The diameter of a spiral decreases with each complete arc. The diameter of a helix is constant.
February 12, 2012
Something similar to this was said in on a Sessemy Street segment (possibly made by William Wegman - an artist who uses animals) on TV many years ago. Patting a dog is when you slap it gently on the head several times. You pat kids too. Cats are less fond of this show of affection. The want you to slide your hand along their back. - The pet, of course.
February 12, 2012
Pat is more like a soft hit,and stroke is more like a cares
February 12, 2012
Language Skills
English, Russian, Spanish
Learning Language
English, Spanish