Hard? Difficult? Scared? Frightened?

So la_directora and drelmo were having a discussion about word usage that made me notice I have some biases about “correct” language.

Given a choice between “This task is hard” and “This task is difficult”, I’d choose the latter.

Given a choice between “He didn’t do it because he was scared” and “He didn’t do it because he was frightened”, I’d choose the latter.

There’s several other similar examples that I’ve noticed recently though they’re not coming to mind right away.

Why do I have these biases?  As drelmo points out, it’s probably not justified by the definitions of the words themselves.  And I don’t generally prefer the long word over the shorter one…

Maybe it’s a specificity thing?  “Hard” has a lot of meanings, difficult has only one.  “Scared” and “Frightened” are about equally precise, though.

Dunno…

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create your website with WordPress.com
Get started
%d bloggers like this: