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  1. #1
    vectra's Avatar
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    Default compelling vs convincing

    Hello,

    Here is the sentence from the text published in WSJ:

    For the Marketing and Customer Value class students must write, in fewer than 150 words, a compelling email convincing executives to implement a marketing and pricing strategy.

    What is the difference between compelling and convincing regarding the word 'letter'? Can I say: 'convincing letter' instead of 'compelling letter' changing the verb 'convince' for 'urge' in the above sentence?

    Thank you in advance.

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    marmoset is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: compelling vs convincing

    Quote Originally Posted by vectra View Post
    Hello,

    Here is the sentence from the text published in WSJ:

    For the Marketing and Customer Value class students must write, in fewer than 150 words, a compelling email convincing executives to implement a marketing and pricing strategy.

    What is the difference between compelling and convincing regarding the word 'letter'? Can I say: 'convincing letter' instead of 'compelling letter' changing the verb 'convince' for 'urge' in the above sentence?

    Thank you in advance.

    *just an assistant ESL teacher

    Indeed compelling and convincing are very similar. I don't see anything wrong with, " a convincing letter compelling executives..." or "a convincing letter urging executives..."


  3. #3
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    Default Re: compelling vs convincing

    Quote Originally Posted by marmoset View Post
    Indeed compelling and convincing are very similar. I don't see anything wrong with, " a convincing letter compelling executives..." or "a convincing letter urging executives..."
    If you compel someone to do something, you force them to do it; I don't think that it's natural in the position I have underlined.

    If something is a compelling read, you are virtually forced to read it. If it's convincing, you believe it. The words are reasonably naturally used in the OP, but I feel that they are not interchangeable.

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    marmoset is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: compelling vs convincing

    Thank you. This is why I am here. To learn also and better help my students in the future. I think perhaps I have slightly misunderstood the meaning of compel in my life.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: compelling vs convincing

    Quote Originally Posted by marmoset View Post
    I think perhaps I have slightly misunderstood the meaning of compel...
    Not necessarily. Your original "compelling and convincing are very similar" is true in some contexts.

    I shudder to think of some of the partially true, and at times wholly untrue, assertions I made in my early days of teaching. If I am still around in ten years, I will almost certainly look back at some of the things I wrote in this forum in 2010 and think, "How could I have believed that?"

    One of the exciting things about teaching for me is that I continue to learn, and to refine (and occasionally reject) ideas that I had previously believed to be absolutely true.

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    marmoset is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: compelling vs convincing

    Not necessarily. Your original "compelling and convincing are very similar" is true in some contexts.

    I had always thought that if I feel compelled to do something, it is not that I feel forced but more like drawn to do it.

    I shudder to think of some of the partially true, and at times wholly untrue, assertions I made in my early days of teaching. If I am still around in ten years, I will almost certainly look back at some of the things I wrote in this forum in 2010 and think, "How could I have believed that?"

    That is why I love to preface almost everything with, "I think" or "I guess" or "I believe".

    One of the exciting things about teaching for me is that I continue to learn, and to refine (and occasionally reject) ideas that I had previously believed to be absolutely true.

    As should be the case in all areas of our lives.

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    Default Re: compelling vs convincing

    Quote Originally Posted by marmoset View Post
    I had always thought that if I feel compelled to do something, it is not that I feel forced but more like drawn to do it.
    The second of these two quotations from the OALD shows that your thoughts reflect current usage - in the right context:

    1,The law can compel fathers to make regular payments for their children.
    2.He spoke with an authority that compelled the attention of the whole crowd.


    and (also from the OALD):

    Her latest book makes compelling reading.

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    marmoset is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: compelling vs convincing

    Hmmm...perhaps I am just tired and missing something.

    Based on what you quoted, why is it so different to say, " a convincing letter compelling executives..." ? I can't seem to find the implication of force.

    Thanks in advance.

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    marmoset is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: compelling vs convincing

    Oh nevermind. I visited the OALD and I see that it is because it is used in the progressive tense.

    Thank you again.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: compelling vs convincing

    Your comments reflect my principle:
    'The moment I stop learning as a teacher, I stop being a teacher'.
    Sometimes I have to stop myself because I want to squeeze so much into such a short period of time, I mean the length of my classes. That is why I am turning to web applications in the classroom.
    Seeing the effect they have, convinces my students they can only benefit from using these applications. And finding out that IT is making studying a little easier for students, compels my colleagues to start using web applications as well.
    I hope I my example sentences are correct.

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