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    #1

    disgrace vs. dishonor vs. discredit

    Today I happened to learn a bunch of synonyms and I wonder if they are interchangeable or they subtly have some different when using?
    Thank you very much.

  1. teechar's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: disgrace vs. dishonor vs. discredit

    Quote Originally Posted by kingtrn View Post
    Today, I happened to learn a bunch of synonyms, and I wonder if they are interchangeable, or do they have subtle have some differences when in usage?
    Thank you very much.
    They are not interchangeable.

    You're a disgrace!
    You're a dishonour.
    You're a discredit.

    I don't think he will dishonour that cheque.
    I don't think he will disgrace that cheque.
    I don't think he will discredit that cheque.

    His theory was discredited by many scientists.
    His theory was disgraced by many scientists.
    His theory was dishonoured by many scientists.

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    #3

    Re: disgrace vs. dishonor vs. discredit

    To understand these words, break them down. "Dis-" means to lose, or "loss of". So focus on the main parts...

    Grace. Honor. Credit.

    Grace has many meanings, but when used as "disgrace", it is referring to a quality of social/societal standing; it means:
    3 a : a charming or attractive trait or characteristic (source).

    Honor too has many meanings, but when used with "dis-", it is referring to a code of conduct; not necessarily military, though this will often be the context.

    Credit, in the same way, is not referring to your FICO score, but rather your credibility; some judgment on how believable you are.

    Now, you can see these things have facets related to, or in common with each with each other, yet they are targeting distinctly different human traits. These attributes within one person may well affect each other, but they can be seen as different.

    I would hesitate to call these even "near-synonyms". As post #2 so well illustrates, they are NOT interchangeable.

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    #4

    Re: disgrace vs. dishonor vs. discredit

    I think the three words can be used this a sentence like this:

    His dishonest deeds have brought disgrace/dishonour/discredit to his family.
    I am not a teacher.

  2. Piscean's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: disgrace vs. dishonor vs. discredit

    Quote Originally Posted by ChinaDan View Post
    To understand these words, break them down. "Dis-" means to lose, or "loss of".
    Grace has many meanings, but when used as "disgrace", it is referring to a quality of social/societal standing; it means:
    3 a : a charming or attractive trait or characteristic (source).
    The meaning of 'disgrace' is not that of 'loss of a charming or attractive trait or characteristic'. It is ' loss of respect, reputation, honour'.


    I would hesitate to call these even "near-synonyms". As post #2 so well illustrates, they are NOT interchangeable.
    They are frequently not interchangeable, though they can be, as ted's examples showed. As to not being near-synonyms, which of the following AHD definitions goes with which word?

    1. Loss of respect or damage to one's reputation:
    1.
    Loss of honor, respect, or reputation; shame.
    1. Loss of honor, respect, or reputation.

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    #6

    Re: disgrace vs. dishonor vs. discredit

    I don't know about anyone else but "I don't think he will dishonour that cheque" doesn't work for me at all (marked as correct in post #2 by Teechar). A bank can "honour a cheque". I'm pretty sure the opposite isn't "dishonour".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #7

    Re: disgrace vs. dishonor vs. discredit

    It did not jar when I read the post, but I am beginning to have my doubts now that you've mentioned it. Banks can dishono(u) r a cheque/check, but I don't know if the drawer can.

    http://www.legalmatch.com/law-librar...of-checks.html

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    #8

    Re: disgrace vs. dishonor vs. discredit

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    I don't know about anyone else but "I don't think he will dishonour that cheque" doesn't work for me at all (marked as correct in post #2 by Teechar). A bank can "honour a cheque". I'm pretty sure the opposite isn't "dishonour".
    Agreed. Dishonor is not the loss of <all meanings of honor>. In any case, when a bank does or does not "honor" a check, we are using the verb form of "honor", not the noun.

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