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JLeslie's avatar

What words do people use interchangeably, but really mean two different things, but are very similar?

Asked by JLeslie (57483points) March 10th, 2019 from iPhone

I’ll give you some examples:

Dizzy and light headed. You can be both, but one is your world is spinning. The other is you need to put your head down or you might pass out.

Another is cold and flu. Cold is stuffy, no fever (in adults) still can get out of bed. Flu is high fever, body aches, barely can move out of bed, sometimes a cough, very little to no congestion.

Stomach organ pain and stomach pain. The stomach organ is actually high up in the digestive system, kind of behind the left breast. The stomach is also used to refer to the front part of the waist.

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6 Answers

Pinguidchance's avatar

Then and than.

LuckyGuy's avatar

“I ____ it.” Fill in the blank with: need, want, desire, require, demand, ...

That used to drive my Japanese coworkers crazy. We decided to just use a number from 1–10 to define their true need. ” I one it ” meant they needed it right now for a production line problem. “I 10 it meant” they could use it any time within about a month.
That made things really clear. We all loved it!

filmfann's avatar

Flustered and frustrated.

JLeslie's avatar

@LuckyGuy That’s very interesting, because fairly recently I felt like I was miscommunicating with my MIL. I was saying in Spanish “I have to X.” I translated the word “have” directly, which sometimes does not work from one language to another. She looked at me strangely, I wasn’t sure if it was a translation problem, or if she thought my word choice was odd or what. I don’t remember what I was talking about at the time, I just thought to myself maybe I should have used “I need to” or “I’d like to.” The thing is “I had to,” so it made sense to me.

@filmfann I looked up flustered to see if I use it correctly. I think I do. I say flustered when I feel a little discombobulated, and can’t think straight because of a situation. I think one can be flustered and frustrated all at once. Being frustrated can cause one to be flustered. Would you say that is correct? Or, am I using it incorrectly?

Aster's avatar

Empathy and the now rarely used word simpathy.

LuckyGuy's avatar

Jealousy and envy.
For example: if one person gets a new toy the other person might say (erroneously): “I’m so jealous!” Actually they are envious.
They would be jealous if they had the toy and feared the other person was going to take it.

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