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  1. Member
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    #1

    deadly toxin/venom

    Though we are afraid of poisonous snakes, the chances of getting killed by their deadly toxin is actually very slim.


    Hi,
    The above is from a pop quiz for high school kids here, and I don't think the author is a native speaker. I think venom is more proper in this context. Am I right? Thanks,

  2. Raymott's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: deadly toxin/venom

    You can use either. 'Venom' is more specific and probably more common.

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    #3

    Re: deadly toxin/venom

    venomous is the proper and more accurate term, though poisonous is commonly used.

    To me, a poisonous snake suggests a snake that will poison you, that is, make you sick if you eat it.

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    #4

    Re: deadly toxin/venom

    They chose to say, "deadly toxin" because it sounds worse; they were going for dramatic effect.

    "Venom, hmm, doesn't sound too good".

    "Deadly toxin! That stuff can kill ya! It's deadly. The guy on TV said so".

  5. Raymott's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: deadly toxin/venom

    So "deadly venom" sounds relatively safe?

  6. Member
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    #6

    Re: deadly toxin/venom

    Quote Originally Posted by Raymott View Post
    So "deadly venom" sounds relatively safe?
    Well, it sounds worse than just "venom", which is what the OP said.

  7. Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    #7

    Re: deadly toxin/venom

    With poisonous snakes, venom is a more natural collocation for me than toxin.

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