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  1. Just Joined
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    #1

    "molten" or "melted"?

    As I understand "molten" and "melted" are both correct forms to describe something that is no longer in a solid but in a liquid or viscous state.

    However, from what I found out using Google's Ngram Viewer it is far more common to say "molten steel" instead of "melted steel", whereas with chocholate it is the opposite. Why is "molten chocolate" used 10 times less than "melted chocolate"?

    Does someone have an explanation?

    "molten steel" vs "melted steel"
    "molten chocolate" vs "melted chocolate"

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: "molten" or "melted"?

    I can't explain why but the Ngram certainly reflects what I use and expect to hear.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #3

    Re: "molten" or "melted"?

    Molten metal requires an enormously higher temperature than melted chocolate.

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: "molten" or "melted"?

    I was just thinking that, after I'd posted my response. "Molten" + anything suggests are far higher temperature than "melted".

    Molten lava
    Molten steel

    Melted chocolate
    Melted ice
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  5. Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: "molten" or "melted"?

    Yes, and it's not just about temperature. It's about the material itself, too. It never refers to food. It's always about a melted material that we usually think of as solid. Rocks and steel are usually solid, so when they're melted, we say molten.

    And since we usually find water as a liquid, we say melted ice.

    For emphasis, we often say molten lava, even though it's redundant, like great big or tuna fish.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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    #6

    Re: "molten" or "melted"?

    Also answered here.

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    #7

    Re: "molten" or "melted"?

    In the case of recipes (and I think generally), melted reflects back on the process of melting the material. When a recipe says melted chocolate, it implicitly adds the instruction "melt the chocolate". Molten only refers to the current state of the material except that we use it, rather than liquid, for materials which we normally find in a solid state.
    I am not a teacher.

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