as opposed to content

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NewAmerica

Banned
Mandarin
Does "as opposed to content" mean "while the basic meaning of the content remains the same"? Some nuance here is beyond me.

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wordsmithing (uncountable)

  1. The making of changes to a text to improve clarity and style, as opposed to content.
    We've drafted an agreement, but there's still a bit of wordsmithing left to do.
Source: Wiktionary wordsmithing - Wiktionary
 
Last edited:
  • JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    "As opposed to" is another way to contrast one thing with another. You could change the text to (1) improve the content (i.e., add more information) or, in contrast, (2) improve the style and content. "One one hand ... and ... on the other hand" is another way to make the same contrast (and one hand is physically opposed to the other:))
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Another way to understand this is that "opposed to" in this case means "distinct from" or "exclusive of".

    What they are saying, is that they are re-writing for clarity, but not changing the original intended meaning or changing any of the original information.

    They are "wordsmithing", that is trying to improve the communication without changing the meaning.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Inspired by a deli question in another post:

    I want six of those.

    I would like six of those.


    That's a simple example of wordsmithing. You are changing tone, style, word order, etc. to make the English better or more appropriate or more clear. You are not changing the meaning.

    In a complex scientific report you have to be certain the words are clearly saying your meaning and not accidentally saying (or implying) something else you did not intend.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Inspired by a deli question in another post:

    I want six of those.

    I would like six of those.


    That's a simple example of wordsmithing. You are changing tone, style, word order, etc. to make the English better or more appropriate or more clear. You are not changing the meaning.

    In a complex scientific report you have to be certain the words are clearly saying your meaning and not accidentally saying (or implying) something else you did not intend.
    They might even require greater specificity.

    I would like six of those. (perhaps under-specified)

    I would like six of those cupcakes. (more specific)

    I would like six of those chocolate cupcakes. (more specific yet)
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Inspired by a deli question in another post:

    I want six of those.

    I would like six of those.


    That's a simple example of wordsmithing. You are changing tone, style, word order, etc. to make the English better or more appropriate or more clear. You are not changing the meaning.

    In a complex scientific report you have to be certain the words are clearly saying your meaning and not accidentally saying (or implying) something else you did not intend.
    (I recall spending hours at work wordsmithing mission statements for departments, divisions and the company :eek: )
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    In this case, one of the purposes of the wordsmithing is to find wording that all the committee members can agree on, since it's a group report. Maybe they all understand the content the same way but disagree on exactly how to describe it accurately. Everyone has to be happy with the exact wording before the report can be issued.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    In this case, one of the purposes of the wordsmithing is to find wording that all the committee members can agree on, since it's a group report. Maybe they all understand the content the same way but disagree on exactly how to describe it accurately. Everyone has to be happy with the exact wording before the report can be issued.
    Ah, a committee.

    I'd llke one of those chocolate cupcakes from a bakery in my constituency.:)
     
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