Interested in Language
what is the difference between the words
Glad to see your name. I don't know how to send you a PM, but I'll keep trying to find the way.
dictionary.com is a useful reference tool. It discusses shades of meaning and gives usage examples.
I did so, Daruma, and consulted dictionary.com as advised.
mistake: an error in action
error : a mistake, as in action or speech
Sometimes dictionaries don't make the difference completely clear. How is a learner supposed to understand the difference, when the dictionary suggests they are interchangeable!
Would someone like to help jayan12 with this?
(This is right up Vil's alley.)
Last edited by David L.; 08-May-2009 at 20:56.
Is there a reason why you omitted the numerous other definitions, usage examples and like-word comparisons included at dictionary.com from your criticism of the suggestion to use the site?
Yes - I was looking at it from a learner's perspective:
If 'error' and 'mistake' are interchangeable, then what just happens to be included under one listing could - should - apply to the other word. Does it or doesn't it? As a learner, I wouldn't be sure.
Here are the first listings for meaning for both, from dictionary.com:
mistake: an error in action, calculation, opinion, or judgment caused by poor reasoning, carelessness, insufficient knowledge, etc.
2. a misunderstanding or misconception.
error: a deviation from accuracy or correctness; a mistake, as in action or speech
I don't think a clear difference in meaning leaps out to a non-native speaker.
Don't get me wrong: I'm really irritated when we have a thread asking for the simplest piece of information available in a dictionary or by a quick Google. But when I can foresee that a word/words might present a problem...
You will note that I checked the dictionary listings BEFORE suggesting that jayan12 may need more help with these two words than the dictionary affords .
Last edited by David L.; 09-May-2009 at 01:25.