deviate from the plan

  • Florentia52

    Modwoman in the attic
    English - United States
    Please tell us where you found this sentence, and provide some context for it, so we can give you accurate answers.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    It wouldn't be wrong, but in my opinion the meaning would be a little different; they're not precisely interchangeable. Look up deviate and stray in the WR dictionary (use the search box at the top of the page) and see what you think, Gandalf.
     

    GandalfMB

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian - Yellow Beach
    I just can't think of anything else at the moment, Parla. I am rather brain-dead. Deviate would suggest to me that he did something very different from what he was doing before going back to the original. I don't know. Stray, however, would exclude the "going back" part of the previous sentence.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    Neither deviate nor stray would suggest to me any return to the original plan. If he deviated, it says to me that he deliberately changed the plan. If he strayed, it says to me that he sort of wandered away from the original, perhaps only a little. Either of those words would mean that he departed from the plan. (Think of someone walking on a path and deviating or straying from it.)

    If he stayed with the plan, as your original sentence says, then he did none of those things.
     

    GandalfMB

    Senior Member
    Bulgarian - Yellow Beach
    Neither deviate nor stray would suggest to me any return to the original plan. If he deviated, it says to me that he deliberately changed the plan. If he strayed, it says to me that he sort of wandered away from the original, perhaps only a little. Either of those words would mean that he departed from the plan. (Think of someone walking on a path and deviating or straying from it.)

    If he stayed with the plan, as your original sentence says, then he did none of those things.
    My original sentence says "stray" not "stay".
     
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