difference vs distinction

Catgod

New Member
English - USA
And when should you use them? I'm confused because of this usage "The distinction between blank and blank" shouldn't it be Difference not Distinction?
 
  • RedwoodGrove

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    I had a professor who would jokingly say, "Is this a difference without distinction or a distinction without a difference?"

    Anyway that doesn't help. Difference is more fundamental, or can be, and certainly is used more often. Distinction has to do with a defining characteristic.

    So as Cagey says, put some words in the blank and it would be much easier to discuss.
     

    RedwoodGrove

    Senior Member
    English, USA
    American Heritage Dictionary: A distinction usually means a slight difference in detail between like or related things, determined only by close inspection. Also it is subjectively determined rather than palpable or factual.

    Difference is the most general. It encompasses all the meanings of synonyms like dissimilarity and variation, unlikeness, etc.

    So with less and fewer they pretty much hit the mark with distinction according to the above description. They are like and related, etc.
     

    Catgod

    New Member
    English - USA
    American Heritage Dictionary: A distinction usually means a slight difference in detail between like or related things, determined only by close inspection. Also it is subjectively determined rather than palpable or factual.

    Difference is the most general. It encompasses all the meanings of synonyms like dissimilarity and variation, unlikeness, etc.

    So with less and fewer they pretty much hit the mark with distinction according to the above description. They are like and related, etc.
    Thank you.
     
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