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  1. #1
    canadalynx is offline Junior Member
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    Seismic or Seismal

    I would like to know if these two adjectives are interchangeable?
    Is there a time where one is preferable than the other?
    Are there any idiomatic phrases?

  2. #2
    jutfrank's Avatar
    jutfrank is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Seismic or Seismal

    The word seismal is not in use, as far as I know. Not in academic discourse, anyway. Use seismic.

    I don't know what you mean by 'idiomatic phrases'.

  3. #3
    canadalynx is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Seismic or Seismal

    Quote Originally Posted by jutfrank View Post
    The word seismal is not in use, as far as I know. Not in academic discourse, anyway. Use seismic.

    I don't know what you mean by 'idiomatic phrases'.
    Seismal is archaic?
    "Seismic activity" is idiomatic phrase?

    Thank you.

  4. #4
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: Seismic or Seismal

    Californians (including me for the moment) may consider whether a structure meets seismic building codes. A brick building around the corner from where I'm sitting had just had triangulated steel bracing installed when the 1994 Northridge earthquake hit. Part of the building above it slid down the cliff (happily with no injuries), but the seismically retrofitted building was fine.

    It would almost certainly have collapsed into rubble had it not been properly braced.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    I am not a teacher.

  5. #5
    probus's Avatar
    probus is offline Moderator
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    Re: Seismic or Seismal

    I had never run across seismal before. When I looked it up I found that it does exist, but it appears to be a technical term used only by geologists. For all practical purposes we use seismic and you can safely forget about seismal.

  6. #6
    tedmc is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Seismic or Seismal

    I think seismic has a broader meaning than seismal which I, too, come across the first time. The former means "having to do with earthquake".
    I am not a teacher or a native speaker.

  7. #7
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: Seismic or Seismal

    Seismal doesn't exist in normal English. Learners should forget about it.
    I am not a teacher.

  8. #8
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    emsr2d2 is offline Moderator
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    Re: Seismic or Seismal

    Quote Originally Posted by canadalynx View Post
    "Seismic" and "seismal".

    I would like to know if these two adjectives are interchangeable? Is there a time where one is preferable than to the other? Are there any idiomatic phrases?
    Quote Originally Posted by canadalynx View Post
    Is "seismal" is archaic? Is "seismic activity" is an idiomatic phrase?
    Please note my corrections above. The words you're asking us about should appear in the main body of your text, not just in the title. You clearly know the correct word order for a question, demonstrated by the fact that both questions in your first post were correctly constructed. However, in your follow-up post, you used the wrong construction for both questions.

    I have the same question as jutfrank - what do you mean by "idiomatic phrase"?
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

  9. #9
    canadalynx is offline Junior Member
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    Re: Seismic or Seismal

    Quote Originally Posted by emsr2d2 View Post
    Please note my corrections above. The words you're asking us about should appear in the main body of your text, not just in the title. You clearly know the correct word order for a question, demonstrated by the fact that both questions in your first post were correctly constructed. However, in your follow-up post, you used the wrong construction for both questions.

    I have the same question as jutfrank - what do you mean by "idiomatic phrase"?
    Alright. Notes taken.
    My bad. I wasn't paying attention to the word order but to the intonation in my head.
    What I meant by 'Idiomatic phrase' is a recognized set of phrase that is used in general, which refers to 'idiomatic expression' but not "idiom".
    Does it make sense?
    For example, I can see "seismic activity" in sentences but not "seismal activity" or "seismical activity".
    Thus, I consider "seismic activity" as an idiomatic phrase or term.

  10. #10
    probus's Avatar
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    Re: Seismic or Seismal

    Canadalynx, the term we use for what you call idiomatic is natural. A word or phrase that is more likely to be chosen by a native speaker is more natural than the alternatives. This is true of all languages, not only English.

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