Meanings: congestion and traffic jam

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Tvita

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Jul 18, 2007
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Could you please tell me a difference between meanings of the following words:
- congection
- traffic jam

In what case is better to use each of them?
 

Uncle M

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Mar 2, 2007
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British English
Home Country
England
Current Location
England
Congestion is a noun used generally for any sort of blockage: people in a crowd, a blocked up nose when you have a cold - all are forms of congestion.

A traffic jam (jam = squashed together) applies only to motor vehicles that have come to a standstill for some reason: an accident, a narrow road etc.

Oddly, people in the UK do sometimes use traffic jam to describe any sort of blockage or standstill, usually meaning pedestrian traffic, but sometimes meaning a lot of jobs waiting to be done by someone...
 
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