Results 1 to 4 of 4
  1. Copy-editor's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Grenada

    • Join Date: May 2009
    • Posts: 40
    #1

    Bad Mother?

    Hello,

    I’m having trouble with the usage of ‘mum’ and ‘mal’ with [maxi/opti/mini/etc]. I understand that ‘mal’ is an adjective and ‘mum’ can be either noun or adjective, but is there more to it than this? When should we use, say, ‘maximal’ instead of ‘maximum’ as an adjective? Is this just a matter of style?

    Below are some examples. Are maximum and maximal synonymous in their use as adjectives?

    ‘The rapid maximal/maximum firing of muscle fibres.’

    ‘… the athletes should go for maximum output during that period.’

    ‘The next stage … is to develop maximal strength.’

    ‘Increase maximal power output.’

    ‘Your main objective is to produce maximal force and acceleration.’

    ‘We have the option to increase the force (in this case a maximal weight) …’

    ‘A higher maximal force and velocity.’


    ‘You will be hitting them with the maximal force you can generate.’


    Opinions anyone?

  2. Soup's Avatar
    VIP Member
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 5,882
    #2

    Re: Bad Mother?

    There are three groups of thought on this.

    Group 1
    Maximum and maximal are synonyms when they function as adjectives.


    Group 2
    Maximum is a noun only. Maximal is the adjectival form of maximum.


    Group 3
    From wordwizard.com - View topic - Optimum / optimal

    ... it seems that ‘maximal,’ has come to be used as ‘the greatest possible under the circumstances’ and may or may not refer to an absolute maximum – “For maximal results, you need calcium and exercise.” However, the ‘maximum’ results humanly possible under controlled laboratory conditions may be far higher than any ‘maximal’ results ‘little old us’ might ever achieve.

    Choose the one you like.

  3. Copy-editor's Avatar
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • England
      • Current Location:
      • Grenada

    • Join Date: May 2009
    • Posts: 40
    #3

    Re: Bad Mother?

    Thanks Soup, you're a bro-th :)

    Your Group 3 is interesting and thanks for the link. I guess I've just got a personal dislike of maximal. The 'subtle difference' talked about is intriguing however. I need to know about these storms in teapots.

    Gyms seem to use the term 'maximal' a lot. The sentences provided are from a magazine that deals quite extensively with fitness. So the idea of maximal being a personal best and maximum being a theoretical best is quite handy and means I can now leave that word unedited without fidgeting.

    Thanks

  4. Soup's Avatar
    VIP Member
    English Teacher
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
      • Current Location:
      • China

    • Join Date: Sep 2007
    • Posts: 5,882
    #4

    Re: Bad Mother?

    You're most welcome. I'm glad I could help.

Similar Threads

  1. An old mother.....
    By Ju in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 18-Apr-2009, 16:24
  2. [Fable] King Eagle and Mother Owl
    By thedaffodils in forum Editing & Writing Topics
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 01-Dec-2008, 05:21
  3. Dear mother (poem) proofreading
    By Roukaya in forum Editing & Writing Topics
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 12-Aug-2008, 09:50

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

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