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  1. AH020387's Avatar
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    #1

    Sanctity VS sacredness

    What is the difference between 'sanctity' and 'sacredness'?

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Sanctity VS sacredness

    Not a lot. 'Sanctity' is more latinate, using the '-ity' suffix (fom -itia) On the other hand, 'sacredness' uses the more home-grown '-ness' suffix. O|therwise, there is a lot of overlap.

    However, the root adjectives (from which the abstract noun is derived) are different in meaning:

    sanctus (Latin) - holy, that should be regarded as special in some way, having what some people would regard as 'holiness'
    sacred - set apart in some way, perhaps blessed in some church ritual ('consecrated')

    Check out their collocations. I think you'll find that 'sanctity' usually refers to an intrinsic quality (e.g. 'the sanctity of human life'), while 'sacredness' refers to an assigned and accidental quality (e.g. 'the sacredness of Jerusalem to so many conflicting faith groups').

    b

  3. BobK's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: Sanctity VS sacredness

    That 'Jerusalem' one was both a very bad example and quite a good one. There are people who believe that parts of it have sanctity (intrinsic holiness) as well as sacredness (being regarded as special by some religious group). What makes the possession/occupation of that city such a big political problem is that the ideas of sanctity and sacredness are so mixed up there. (I recognize this is tricky ground, but that trickiness comes partly from language - so I think it's worth considering here. If you disagree, let me know by PM.)

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    #4

    Re: Sanctity VS sacredness

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Not a lot. 'Sanctity' is more latinate, using the '-ity' suffix (fom -itia) On the other hand, 'sacredness' uses the more home-grown '-ness' suffix. O|therwise, there is a lot of overlap.

    However, the root adjectives (from which the abstract noun is derived) are different in meaning:

    sanctus (Latin) - holy, that should be regarded as special in some way, having what some people would regard as 'holiness'
    sacred - set apart in some way, perhaps blessed in some church ritual ('consecrated')

    Check out their collocations. I think you'll find that 'sanctity' usually refers to an intrinsic quality (e.g. 'the sanctity of human life'), while 'sacredness' refers to an assigned and accidental quality (e.g. 'the sacredness of Jerusalem to so many conflicting faith groups').

    b
    I agree, but I think sacredness likes to invade sanctity's territory, as in "sacredness of life".

    There are also other words: "saintliness" (for people) and "sanctitude" (I'm not sure how this one is used).
    Last edited by birdeen's call; 17-Mar-2011 at 22:43. Reason: typo

  4. BobK's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Sanctity VS sacredness

    Also, 'sanctity', being derived from sanctus + noun-forming suffix, can also refer to 'being a saint' - as is the case in the collocation Odour of sanctity - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    b

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