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  1. blouen's Avatar
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    #1

    comprehensive/exhaustive

    What are the differences?

  2. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: comprehensive/exhaustive

    If I give you a comprehensive summary of a situation, I give you all the news you need to know, with plenty of details.

    If I give you an exhaustive list, I have included every single thing that meets the criteria. However, "an exhaustive study" is the same as "a very thorough study" (according to my friends at www.m-w.com), which would mean, to me, that they considered every likely scenario and outcome, not simply the most likely.

    [as you know, a business writer, not a teacher]

  3. blouen's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: comprehensive/exhaustive

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    If I give you a comprehensive summary of a situation, I give you all the news you need to know, with plenty of details.

    If I give you an exhaustive list, I have included every single thing that meets the criteria. However, "an exhaustive study" is the same as "a very thorough study" (according to my friends at www.m-w.com), which would mean, to me, that they considered every likely scenario and outcome, not simply the most likely.

    [as you know, a business writer, not a teacher]
    Am I right with my thinking that something comprehensive - gives all the details that makes the discussion understandable.

    On the other hand, something exhaustive - gives SO MUCH details making it tedious for someone to read.

  4. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: comprehensive/exhaustive

    Well, it may be :) But just because something is exhaustive doesn't necessarily mean it's exhausting.

    An exhaustive list of people you are inviting to a party could be only 12 names, for example.

  5. blouen's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: comprehensive/exhaustive

    Quote Originally Posted by Barb_D View Post
    Well, it may be :) But just because something is exhaustive doesn't necessarily mean it's exhausting.

    An exhaustive list of people you are inviting to a party could be only 12 names, for example.
    Can I also say: A comprehensive list of people I am inviting to a party...

  6. BobK's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: comprehensive/exhaustive

    Quote Originally Posted by blouen View Post
    Can I also say: A comprehensive list of people I am inviting to a party...
    Well, you could; but 'exhaustive' is much the stronger collocation.

    b

  7. blouen's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: comprehensive/exhaustive

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    Well, you could; but 'exhaustive' is much the stronger collocation.

    b
    And to where do you think ´comprehensive´ would collocate best?

  8. BobK's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: comprehensive/exhaustive

    Quote Originally Posted by blouen View Post
    And to where do you think ´comprehensive´ would collocate best?
    The most obvious one (mentioned before) is 'comprehensive summary'. There are lots of collocations with the adverb: 'failed comprehensively', 'managed comprehensively' .... Also, in the UK (in what some would say is another meaning of 'comprehensive'), 'comprehensive education' -> 'comprehensive school' or just the noun 'comprehensive' - 'he went to a comprehensive in Camden.'

    b

  9. blouen's Avatar
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    #9

    Re: comprehensive/exhaustive

    Quote Originally Posted by BobK View Post
    The most obvious one (mentioned before) is 'comprehensive summary'. There are lots of collocations with the adverb: 'failed comprehensively', 'managed comprehensively' .... Also, in the UK (in what some would say is another meaning of 'comprehensive'), 'comprehensive education' -> 'comprehensive school' or just the noun 'comprehensive' - 'he went to a comprehensive in Camden.'

    b
    Thanks Bob.

    Comprehensive dictionary. Exhaustive Library.

    Are these correct?

  10. BobK's Avatar
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    #10

    Re: comprehensive/exhaustive

    Quote Originally Posted by blouen View Post
    Thanks Bob.

    Comprehensive dictionary. Exhaustive Library.

    Are these correct?
    I'm not sure about Exhaustive Library - it doesn't sound right to me. Except maybe in this context:

    'I need a comprehensive library for my research.'
    'What about the British Library?'
    'What's it like on sacred texts?'
    'If you go now, they've got a special event called Sacred - with an exhaustive collection of sacred texts of all the main faiths.'

    Hmm - on reflection - even in that context I didn't manage to use the phrase "exhaustive library".

    b
    PS The Sacred bit was true - ends 23 Sept - free, but you need to book! Sacred - Home

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