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  1. Mehrgan's Avatar
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    #1

    Question "in hindsight" = "in retrospect"?

    Hi,
    Could the two terms be used interchangably? Which one is more used in daily speech, or is there any informal term used instead? Thanks in advance..

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "in hindsight" = "in retrospect"?

    This is a loan-translation, or 'calque'. English is full of them. In different root languages retro=hind and sight=spect (v. roughly). Regard them as equivalents at your peril! People don't have '20:20 retrospect', for example or '20:20 sight'; they do have '2020 hindsight' and '20:20 vision'.

    However, in the adv. phrase 'in *', they have very similar meanings. In loan-translations, shorter/spikier/home-grown constituents generally tend to go with a more concrete meaning. For example 'That project was a bit of a mess. In hindsight [perhaps 'with' or 'given' would be better than in'] I should've done things differently.' But 'In retrospect, my life has been quite interesting' - when you say 'in hindsight' you've got your sleeves rolled up, and when you say 'in retrospect' you're sitting in an armchair.

    b
    Last edited by BobK; 13-Apr-2010 at 11:26. Reason: Fix typo

  3. Mehrgan's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: "in hindsight" = "in retrospect"?

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    This is a loan-translation, or 'calque'. English is full of them. In different root languages retro=hind and sight=spect (v. roughly). Regard them as equivalents at your peril! People don't have '20:20 retrospect', for example or '20:20 sight'; they do have '2020 hindsight' and '20:20 vision'.

    However, in the adv. phrase 'in *', they have very similar meanings. In loan-translations, shorter/spikier/home-grown constituents generally tend to go with a more concrete meaning. For example 'That project was a bit of a mess. In hindsight [perhaps 'with' or 'given' would be better than in'] I should've done things differently.' But 'In retrospect, my life has been quite interesting' - when you say 'in hindsight' you've got your sleeves rolled up, and when you say 'in retrospect' you're sitting in an armchair.



    So many thanks for the reply...all the very best to you dear Bobk...
    Last edited by BobK; 13-Apr-2010 at 11:24. Reason: Fixed format

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