examine, inspect

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Ben pan

Senior Member
chinese
Your dictionary uses "inspect" to interpret "examine". It seems that their meaning is partly overlapped. Both can mean "look at carefully, closely, or officially so as to judge or discover something". I have seen many times in academic writings "examine" used in this way: I will examine xx's theory on xx, so my question is is this "examine" used right in that sense and can I replace it with "inspect". If not, then why?
 
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Inspect has a stronger sense of "look at". You might inspect a claimed mathematical proof of something you knew was impossible (squaring the circle, for example), because you know there is an error in it somewhere, and you're just looking for it. Or you might inspect a paper to ensure it has acknowledgements, references, correctly labelled diagrams, and so on - physical or visual attributes. Most theories, however, deserve examination, which includes consideration (thought or analysis).
     
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