Monitor Quiz

Subtle shades of meaning

*1. Which action implies more haste - "to hurry" or "to hustle"?

* Is "each" day the same as "every" day?

* If an athlete improves his record, does he "surpass" or "outdo" himself?

* Which judgment has a stronger sense of being lawful and rule-bound - "just" or "fair"?

* If someone has ideas that easily take root and grow, is his mind "fertile" or "productive"?

ANSWERS

* To hustle. While "hurry" denotes excited and impetuous action, "hustle" comes from hurry and jostle, and suggests pushing others aside with an aggressive urgency.

* No. But both mean "all." "Each" means all, as in items taken separately: "Pick up each leaf." "Every" is used when one wants to consider all things as a group: "Pick up every leaf." "Each" is usually used for a countable number of things, whereas "every" is treated as one item.

* He would outdo himself, and may outdo others as well. However, to surpass means only performing better than someone else.

* Just. Both "just" and "fair" mean "being free from improper pressures in making a decision." "Just," however, is more stern and implies adhering strictly to the rules. "Fair" is milder. Fairness in justice means an effort to be open to reasonable claims. A just punishment would be swift. A fair judgment, on the other hand, would mean one that reflected careful consideration of both sides. However, the decisions may, in the end, be the same.

* Fertile, meaning "open and ready for invention and development." Fertility implies creativity. Productive, on the other hand, means bringing forth rapidly or in abundance, with the emphasis on speed and yield.

Sources: 'Comfortable Words,' by Bergen Evans; Webster's Dictionary; The World Book Dictionary.

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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