- For Teachers
Is there a difference between appropriacy and appropriateness?
ap∑pro∑pri∑acy / — J'prJUpriJsi; NAmE — J'proU-/ noun [U] 1the extent to which sth is suitable or acceptable2(linguistics) the extent to which a word or phrase sounds correct and natural in relation to the situation it is used in
(Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary, 7th edition)
It is analogous to adequacy from adequate.
However the word is almost never used and not found in most dictionaries or spell checkers. If you use appropriacy in your language you will sound pompous and no one will understand what you are saying.
Appropriacy must have died out in American general English if it did. In many transnational domains (mostly academic fields) and in Britain it is still commonplace... so saying "you'll sound pompous if you use it", as is normally the case when stated, is context dependant (one person's pompous is another person's high register or, ironically as it's linguistics in this case, domain specific language). I've read and used it many times, especially in linguistics, where it is used when discussing whether a word, utterance or related action is appropriate in the context. If your dictionary doesn't have it, get another one if you're going to come to Britain or study linguistics!
The appropriacy of their utterances was negotiated between the interlocutors.
The appropriateness of her appearance was questionable.
Last edited by Bobbybobbob; 21-Nov-2009 at 18:02. Reason: typo