Politics Magazine

Synonyms in English

Posted on the 16 April 2015 by Calvinthedog
Look at all the synonyms for one simple word!

Look at all the synonyms for one simple word! That is quite an impressive list!

Amazing. I knew a young Korean woman once, a friend of the family. She knew Korean of course, and she was learning English and could speak it pretty well.

Once she said that she thought all of the synonyms in English were ridiculous and idiotic and that Korean has few synonyms. The Koreans have the attitude that if you have one word that connotes a given meaning, what is the purpose of having another word, basically a duplicate word, for the same meaning? You now have two words that mean exactly the same thing. What exactly have you accomplished other than to clutter up your language and your brain?

In Semantics there is the notion that there is probably no such thing as a synonym other than for slang words. Semanticists believe that most synonyms have slightly different meanings from each other – that is, they have a tiny shade of a different meaning from the word or words that they are synonymous with.


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