Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 1 2
Results 11 to 16 of 16
  1. #11
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is online now VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    19,578
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Is my teacher adeqate?

    Quote Originally Posted by amigos4 View Post
    Raymott, with all due respect, I stand by my statement that 'apparent' and 'obvious' are synonyms.
    Yes they are.

    Obvious: Synonyms: apparent, ascertainable, clear-cut, definite, detectable, discernible, distinguishable, estimable, evident, good-sized, goodly, healthy, large, manifest, marked, material, measurable, noticeable, observable, obvious, perceivable, perceptible, plain, pronounced, recognizable, sensible, significant, sizable, substantial, tangible, visible
    Obvious Synonyms, Obvious Antonyms | Thesaurus.com


    The original post did not ask if the two words were 'strict' synonyms. To me, a 'synonym' is a 'synonym' whether it is strict or not.
    How about now that the teacher has come back with: "Yeah, both words are completely the same"? (Post #6) Does that change the substance of the original post and the "strictness" with which the claim has been made?

    Anyhow, to me the difference is totally goodly and sensible [sic]!
    R.

  2. #12
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • British English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • Philippines
    Join Date
    Nov 2002
    Posts
    42,749
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Is my teacher adeqate?

    Quote Originally Posted by amigos4 View Post
    Nonetheless, questioning the inadequacy of a teacher because she believes these words are synonyms seems like a very shallow litmus test!
    I agree with this. Also, when asked a question in class where an instant answer is called for, it is easy to give an over-general answer. When you have time to think of examples, it's easier to find examples of usage and differences, and everybody seems agreed that there is overlap- the question is how much.

  3. #13
    Raymott's Avatar
    Raymott is online now VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Academic
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Australia
      • Current Location:
      • Australia
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    19,578
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Is my teacher adeqate?



    I agree too, and I think its quite understandable for a teacher to say things like this. The inevitable result of admitting that the words are not strict synonyms is having to answer, Whats the difference?. As weve seen this is difficult enough for native speakers. I would be very tempted to agree that they are complete synonyms too in a classroom situation. Its a simple choice between telling a little white lie, and committing yourself to another ten minutes of work before the next class (and multiply that by the number of Whats the difference? questions you let yourself in for per day).
    Given that, its not so much a sign of inadequacy as one of self-preservation.

  4. #14
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    15,478
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Is my teacher adeqate?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    ... when asked a question in class where an instant answer is called for, it is easy to give an over-general answer...
    This reminded me of a time when a Polish student was reading a story which used the word 'zloty'. I told him that there was no /zl/ in English; what I meant was that in words not borrowed from other languages, word-initially, this consonant cluster was impossible. But it does occur quite frequently in phrases like 'has left'.

    b

  5. #15
    birdeen's call is offline VIP Member
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • Student or Learner
      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • Poland
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Posts
    5,099
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Is my teacher adeqate?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Some people say synonyms have 'the same or nearly the same meaning' and then disagree about the meaning of 'nearly'. Raymott used the expression 'strict synonym', and said - I agree - that in real life 'strict synonyms' are very rare. Web-sites and books that list 'synonyms' aren't strict.
    I think there can even be a problem with the definition of 'strict synonyms'. Is it enough that they denote exactly the same entity or should they also be used in the same way?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobk
    I told him that there was no /zl/ in English
    Off-topic
    Although this cluster isn't at all strange for my language, ironically, this is not the case where it's present... It's one of the cases in which English speakers borrowed the spelling and not the pronunciation. And not only did they borrow just the spelling but also got rid of the diacritics. It's "złoty" with a barred "l" originally. It's pronounced /zwɔtɨ/. Another example is "kielbasa" which is "kiełbasa" in Polish.
    Last edited by birdeen's call; 01-Sep-2010 at 20:30.

  6. #16
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
    • Member Info
      • Member Type:
      • English Teacher
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • UK
      • Current Location:
      • UK
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    15,478
    Post Thanks / Like

    Default Re: Is my teacher adeqate?

    Quote Originally Posted by birdeen's call View Post
    I think there can even be a problem with the definition of 'strict synonyms'. Is it enough that they denote exactly the same entity or should they also be used in the same way?

    Good question. I generally try to avoid the word "synonym" if I can because it means so many different things to so many people. Discussions involving it tend to generate more heat than light.

    Off-topic
    Although this cluster isn't at all strange for my language, ironically, this is not the case where it's present... It's one of the cases in which English speakers borrowed the spelling and not the pronunciation. And not only did they borrow just the spelling but also got rid of the diacritics. It's "złoty" with a barred "l" originally. It's pronounced /zwɔtɨ/. Another example is "kielbasa" which is "kiełbasa" in Polish.
    Thanks I didn't realize how far off the mark I was - imprisoned* by English phonology!

    b
    PS *Well, at least hidebound.
    Last edited by BobK; 02-Sep-2010 at 10:01. Reason: Added PS

Page 2 of 2 FirstFirst 1 2

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 03-Aug-2009, 13:38
  2. enthusiastic teacher and unenthusiastic teacher
    By sametcan in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 16-Apr-2008, 15:41
  3. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 23-Jul-2006, 07:17
  4. Please Help: ESL Teacher and Bilingual Ed Teacher
    By teachermrswan in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 01-Oct-2005, 08:50
  5. ESL Teacher Kathy Mellor Named as Teacher of the Year
    By Red5 in forum General Language Discussions
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 22-Apr-2004, 00:15

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •