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Thread: midget words?

  1. #1
    michael147 is offline Member
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    Red face midget words?

    investigation---probe

    support---back

    courage---guts

    Are they called "midget words" or "small words"?

  2. #2
    Raymott's Avatar
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    Default Re: midget words?

    Quote Originally Posted by michael147 View Post
    investigation---probe

    support---back

    courage---guts

    Are they called "midget words" or "small words"?
    I'd call them "short words". You'll often get advice like, "Don't use long words in essays just to try to impress."

  3. #3
    Gillnetter is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: midget words?

    Quote Originally Posted by michael147 View Post
    investigation---probe

    support---back

    courage---guts

    Are they called "midget words" or "small words"?
    I would call them synonyms. Synonyms are words that mean about the same.
    Buy and purchase
    Sell and vend
    Cry and sob

    In your examples the first words tend to be used in more formal writings.

  4. #4
    emsr2d2's Avatar
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    Default Re: midget words?

    I don't find investigation, support or courage particularly formal. I would find "guts" definitely informal but the rest are perfectly normal words.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  5. #5
    Gillnetter is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: midget words?

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I don't find investigation, support or courage particularly formal. I would find "guts" definitely informal but the rest are perfectly normal words.
    They are in relation to each other.

  6. #6
    michael147 is offline Member
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    Default Re: midget words?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillnetter View Post
    I would call them synonyms. Synonyms are words that mean about the same.
    Buy and purchase
    Sell and vend
    Cry and sob

    In your examples the first words tend to be used in more formal writings.
    I know they are synonyms. My question is based on long vs short. I often find words like "back" meaning "support" in formal writings. So it is okay if I replace long words with short words including idioms and phrases in formal writing or speaking?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: midget words?

    Quote Originally Posted by michael147 View Post
    I know they are synonyms. My question is based on long vs short. I often find words like "back" meaning "support" in formal writings. So it is okay if I replace long words with short words including idioms and phrases in formal writing or speaking?
    It usually is, if the short word is not informal, as emsr2d2 has pointed out with "guts".
    Please be aware that I'm neither a native English speaker nor a teacher.

  8. #8
    michael147 is offline Member
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    Default Re: midget words?

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    I'd call them "short words". You'll often get advice like, "Don't use long words in essays just to try to impress."
    Thank you. "short words" sounds way better than small words or midget words.

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