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  1. angliholic's Avatar
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    #1

    Smile with its eight arms swinging about

    Are the following all but identical in meaning? Many thanks.


    --The octopus swam in the sea with its eight arms swinging about.
    --The octopus swam in the sea with its eight feet moving/waving around.


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    #2

    Re: with its eight arms swinging about

    Yes and no.

    "swinging about" implies that the octopus was propelling itself by some motion in its body, so that its eight limbs were hanging loose and swinging about.

    "moving/waving around" sound more as though the limbs were actively being moved.

  2. angliholic's Avatar
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    #3

    Smile Re: with its eight arms swinging about

    Quote Originally Posted by Anglika View Post
    Yes and no.

    "swinging about" implies that the octopus was propelling itself by some motion in its body, so that its eight limbs were hanging loose and swinging about.

    "moving/waving around" sound more as though the limbs were actively being moved.
    Thanks, Anglika.
    But I still have some doubt.
    First, I notice you used "limbs" instead of "arms/feet," and I think it's a better word. But I want to make sure if arms/feet sound right or not in the base sentence.
    Second, how do you perceive that "swinging about" implies the octopus was propelling itself by some motion in its body, while "moving/waving around" allude to "the limbs were actively being moved? I don't have this same gut feelings.


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    #4

    Re: with its eight arms swinging about

    Quote Originally Posted by angliholic View Post
    Are the following all but identical in meaning? Many thanks.


    --The octopus swam in the sea with its eight arms swinging about.
    --The octopus swam in the sea with its eight feet moving/waving around.
    Not 'feet', A. Can an octopus swim with its limbs/arms swinging/moving/waving about? I think that the propulsion generated by the octopus causes the "opening" and then apparent "closing" of its arms.

  3. angliholic's Avatar
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    #5

    Smile Re: with its eight arms swinging about

    Quote Originally Posted by riverkid View Post
    Not 'feet', A. Can an octopus swim with its limbs/arms swinging/moving/waving about? I think that the propulsion generated by the octopus causes the "opening" and then apparent "closing" of its arms.
    Thanks, riverkid.

    To make sure, the original uses "swinging," and it's a sample from a textbook. Don't you think "swinging" does the trick in the sample?


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    #6

    Re: with its eight arms swinging about

    "moving its limbs" tells you that there is a positive action.

    If the sentence had said "The octopus swam in the sea by swinging its limbs/waving its limbs about", it would also tell you there is positive action.

    However, neither is a good term to describe the way in which an octopus propels itself forward.

  4. angliholic's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: with its eight arms swinging about

    Thanks, Anglika.
    Got it.


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    #8

    Re: with its eight arms swinging about

    I agree with Anglika. 'swinging about'/'moving/waving around' all have a feel of somewhat uncontrolled actions.

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