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    cape = promontory = point = headland ?

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to explain to me the hypothetical, dubious distinction between the meaning of the words in bold in the following brief excerpt from the Jules Verne’s “The Mysterious Island”.

    “If Cyrus Harding was not mistaken in his calculation, the island had almost the extent of Malta or Zante, in the Mediterranean, but it was at the same time much more irregular and less rich in capes, promontories, points, bays, or creeks. “

    cape (n) = a point or head of land projecting into a body of water

    promontory (n) = a high ridge of land or rock jutting out into a body of water; a headland

    point (n) = a tapering extension of land projecting into water; a peninsula, cape, or promontory.

    Thank you for your efforts.



    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    Re: cape = promontory = point = headland ?

    While they all refer to land extending into water, they do have differences:

    A cape = A large mass of land extending into a body of water, such as the Cape of Good Hope, Cape Cod, Cape Verde etc.

    A promontory is a prominent mass of land which overlooks lower lying land, or a body of water [Cliffs are promontories]

    A peninsula is land that is nearly surrounded by water but is connected to the mainland by a neck of land.

    A headland is an area of land adjacent to water on three sides.

    A point is a projecting, usually tapering piece of land, or a sharp prominence over water.
    Last edited by Anglika; 08-Sep-2008 at 13:41.

    • Join Date: Jun 2008
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    Re: cape = promontory = point = headland ?

    Peninsula, Headland, Cape and Promontory are landforms that project into the sea [or ocean]

    Peninsula and Headland differ in area: a 'peninsula' is larger [Iberian peninsula; Florida can be technically called a peninsula too]

    When the headland affects the flow surface and sub-surface ocean currents, it is called a 'cape'

    A 'promontory' is a high point of land [ the Rock of Gibraltar]

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