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obtrusive or intrusive

Discussion in 'English Only' started by veracity, Nov 22, 2007.

  1. veracity

    veracity Senior Member

    Can you tell me when should I use intrusive and when obtrusive. They seem equal for me. In place of pushy I use intrusive. But can you give me a real samples where these words have a very different meaning?

    Thank you for your helping hand.
     
  2. Matching Mole

    Matching Mole Senior Member

    England, English
    To obtrude is to stick out, to thrust forward and intrude is to thrust inward. They are both about "thrusting" and the only difference is direction.

    If you are talking about someone invading privacy or going in where they should not go I would use intrusive. I think there needs to be something to invade in order to use this word. For example if someone at a party was thrusting themselves upon people I would call that obtrusive; it would only be intrusive if he or she was clearly interrupting an intimate circle or couple, or asking questions that would be considered an invasion of privacy.

    For this reason I would say that merely being "pushy" was in fact obtrusive; but the fact is that obtrusive is a bit literary or formal (compared to intrusive) and likely to be avoided in conversation.
     
  3. veracity

    veracity Senior Member

    Thank you Matching Mole.
    Suppose I give a call to my friend and I ask him a favour. He promisies to do something for me. Nothing happens the next couple of weeks and I call him again.
    Now am I obtrusive or intrusive?
     
  4. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    This septic isle!
    NW Englandish English
    Personally, Veracity, I wouldn't describe you as either in those circumstances: you're merely ringing to remind him of his promise. He, however, is being forgetful at best, neglectful at worst.
     
  5. veracity

    veracity Senior Member

    Suppose I asked money from him. I called him not second but third time. He is hesitating.
    Am I now obtrusive or intrusive?

    Thanks ewie for your attention.
     
  6. veracity

    veracity Senior Member

    Again I am pushing this thread. Because of this push am I intrusive or obtrusive?
     
  7. veracity

    veracity Senior Member

    Yes, tell me what I am?
     
  8. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    This septic isle!
    NW Englandish English
    I'd call that persistent, Veracity.
     
  9. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    This septic isle!
    NW Englandish English
    You're not actually intruding because I'm not really doing anything very important
     
  10. veracity

    veracity Senior Member

    Hehehe! I beat a retreat.
     

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