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  1. Mad-ox's Avatar
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    #1

    metaphoric/metaphorical

    hi,

    Which form is correct? metaphoric/metaphorical

    But there are many similar cases:

    scientific/scientifical
    geographic/geographical
    biologic/biological
    theoteric/theoretical


    So, are there any rules as far as the usage of these words concerns??

    Thank you in advance

    m

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: metaphoric/metaphorical

    I'll be watching this string, because it's a very good question. With the pair historic/historical there's a clear difference.

    On this historic occasion, we salute the men who ....

    but

    It is a historical fact that ....

    The first means 'making or marking a significant event'; the second means 'pertaining to an event known to have taken place'.

    But some of your examples aren't that clear. In general, I'd guess that '-al' tends to distance the speaker from the word:

    It's a theoretical possibility

    but

    It's a theoretic certainty.

    Or

    His equipment was scientifical, but his methods were not scientific

    Or

    Geographic North is not the same as magnetic North

    but

    The explorer's intentions were purely geographical

    I'm running out of ideas here. Let's hope there's a simple rule!

    b

    PS - When you make either of these pairs into an adverb, it's '-ically'

  3. Mad-ox's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: metaphoric/metaphorical

    It is difficult for me! I have looked up in the Mcmillan dictionary these words. It says that, for instance, geographic or theoretic do not exists. It apears like goegraphical and theoretical.
    I'm very puzzeled with these situations.


    m

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