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Thread: aim and purpose

  1. Dany's Avatar

    • Join Date: Aug 2004
    • Posts: 602

    aim and purpose

    Dear all,

    I thought, that the words "aim" and "purpose" have the same meaning. But now I read this sentence:

    The aims and purposes of the ASEAM as stated in the founding Decleration are .......

    So can someone explaine to me, what the difference of these words is? And in which different cases are these words especially used?

    Thanks a lot in advance,

  2. rewboss's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2006
    • Posts: 1,552

    Re: aim and purpose

    In the sentence you cite, "aim" and "purpose" do mean almost exactly the same thing -- some writers just think it sounds impressive if you add extra words to a text.

    The technical name for saying the same thing twice is "pleonasm". You'll also hear the word "redundancy".

    If there is a distinction, it is this: An "aim" is something that you try to reach; a "purpose" is a reason for existing. But the aims of an organisation are usually the same as its purposes.

    If I was proof-reading this, I'd delete "and purposes".


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