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    #1

    "mediocre" "indifferent"

    "mediocre" "indifferent"
    Do they have the same meaning (not good but not very bad)
    Are two words interchangeable?

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    #2

    Re: "mediocre" "indifferent"

    "Indifferent" does not mean the same as "mediocre."

    You have defined mediocre OK. I suggest looking up "indifferent" in the dictionary.

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    #3

    Re: "mediocre" "indifferent"

    Hi kelvin123,

    mediocre
    = average, commonplace, indifferent, inferior, insignificant, medium, middling, ordinary, run-of-the mill, second-rate, s0-so, undistinguished, unexceptional, uninspired

    mediocrity = indifference

    mediocrity = the state or quality of being mediocre

    indifference = the state or quality of being indifferent

    V.
    Last edited by vil; 30-Dec-2010 at 12:20.

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    #4

    Re: "mediocre" "indifferent"

    Quote Originally Posted by kelvin123 View Post
    "mediocre" "indifferent"
    Do they have the same meaning (not good but not very bad)
    Are two words interchangeable?

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Kelvin,


    Those two words can, indeed, be confusing.

    I think that it depends on the context. That is,

    it depends on what you are trying to say.

    Yes, my dictionaries say that sometimes they are

    synonyms, but sometimes they are not.

    (1) That newspaper is mediocre. That is, (as you said)

    it is neither good nor horrible. It is so so. (ma ma hu hu -- as I think you

    say in Mandarin.)

    My dictionaries tell me that it means "average" or "ordinary."

    But most people consider it to be an insult. For example: What

    kind of teacher is Mr.X? Oh, he is OK. He is an ordinary

    instructor. (Nothing great; nothing horrible) It would be very

    insulting to say: "Oh, he is a mediocre instructor."

    (2) I no longer go to Dr. X for my medical problems. Why?

    Because he is indifferent toward my concerns. Maybe he is

    not a mediocre doctor. Maybe he is a top doctor. But he simply

    does not care about me. He does not welcome my questions and

    he never offers me advice. One of my dictionaries gives a sentence

    something like: Many (most?) young people are indifferent toward

    foreign affairs. That is, they simply do not care about what is

    happening in other countries. As we say in English, they could not care

    less. Another example: when people walk down the street in my city,

    there are some homeless people who ask for money. Some people

    give them money; some people give them an angry look and refuse

    to give them anything; some people are indifferent. That is, they walk

    by as if the homeless people were invisible.

    THANK YOU & HAPPY NEW YEAR

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    #5

    Re: "mediocre" "indifferent"

    ----- Not an English teacher -----

    Quote Originally Posted by kelvin123 View Post
    "mediocre" "indifferent"
    Do they have the same meaning (not good but not very bad)
    Are two words interchangeable?
    The above posters have already properly answered your question. I just would like to add something:

    I don't 'believe' in synonyms anymore.

    It is rather difficult to find exactly synonyms in a language - words acquire meaning through subtle relationships. You may find you are beginning to understand a new language when you start to wonder about synonyms.

    This is a good exercise, get some words to start with, look for its synonyms, try to contextualize them, post some related questions here at UsingEnglish - I guess by the end of the day you will realize they are not synonyms at all and you have learned a great deal of good English.

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    #6

    Re: "mediocre" "indifferent"

    As you may know, there is a discussion on this forum about dictionaries or teachers, and which one you should trust. This is a good reason to include people instead of relying only on your dictionary.

    While the dictionary may include "indifferent" as a definition/synonym for "mediocre," no one I know would consider them so.

    We would all consider "indifferent" to be an attitude of not caring. We would not use it to describe how good or bad something is.

    The Parser's example shows how one can not meet the definition for mediocre, but meet the definition of indifferent.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #7

    Re: "mediocre" "indifferent"

    "Indifferent" is used to describe the quality of wine:
    "Generalizations about a particular vintage are risky and often misleading, no matter how much they are sought by professionals and consumers alike. Hail storms or early frosts can harm crops in one part of California or France where other parts can experience an exceptionally fine vintage year. A highly skilled producer can turn out a very good wine in a poor vintage year, and a mediocre producer can produce an indifferent wine from high quality grapes".
    From: The Meaning of Vintage : Hoosier Wine Cellar | Indiana wines and wine guide

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    #8

    Re: "mediocre" "indifferent"

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    As you may know, there is a discussion on this forum about dictionaries or teachers, and which one you should trust.
    Do you mean a general discussion or a specific thread?

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: "mediocre" "indifferent"

    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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