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  1. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #1

    liberal vs. generous

    Hello,

    Would you tell me what the difference between "liberal" and "generous"?

    i.e. a liberal / generous donor

    Thank you!

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    #2

    Re: liberal vs. generous

    Quote Originally Posted by thedaffodils View Post
    Hello,

    Would you tell me what the difference between "liberal" and "generous" is?

    i.e. a liberal / generous donor I would only use "generous" in that example. Look up the two words in your dictionary.

    Thank you!
    ..

  2. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: liberal vs. generous

    The problem with using 'liberal" in your example is it can be confused with politics.

  3. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: liberal vs. generous

    To: Canadian45

    My dictionary uses generous to define liberal.

    Entry 5 for liberal.
    Tending to give freely; generous:

    a liberal benefactor.

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    #5

    Re: liberal vs. generous

    Please name the dictionary you are quoting from.

    I agree with Mike for the reason he gave. The words 'entry 5' are significant.

    I have not looked at all the dictionaries listed here, but the first few at least put the political meaning first, so anybody looking up 'a liberal donor' could get the impression that the donor was supporting the defined political cause.

    Generous means liberal far more often than liberal means generous.
    Last edited by Rover_KE; 24-Aug-2014 at 12:24. Reason: Changing 'for' to 'far'.

  4. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: liberal vs. generous

    There is a big difference between dictionary definitions and common usage. Usage changes over time. For example, "gay" is hardly ever used for "happy" anymore.

  5. thedaffodils's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: liberal vs. generous

    The American Heritage dictionary for Learners of English

    This is the dictionary I used.

  6. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: liberal vs. generous

    I understand. But you should be more concerned with being understood than what a dictionary says.

  7. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: liberal vs. generous

    The dictionaries also use 'generous' to define 'bounteous', can I say 'a bounteous donor'?

  8. MikeNewYork's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: liberal vs. generous

    Not in this century.

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