forward to vs. distribute to

cookas

New Member
Polish
Hello,

What is the difference between forwarding some information to sb. and distributing some information to sb.?

Example:

If You wish to distribute the file please contact the subscriptions department at..., providing details of your subscription and the number of recipients you wish to forward or distribute this information to.
 
  • e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I must say I find this puzzling. Forward means to send (and is often used in emails) and distribute seems to have the same meaning here.

    Neither of my two thesauruses (Roget and Oxford) have meanings for forward/distribute which are the same. I find this strange since "to distribute information" is not an unusual phrase.
     

    cookas

    New Member
    Polish
    Is it possible that the difference is in the form of the document that is supposed to be forwarded/distributed. I mean that maybe sth can be forwarded (sent) in electronic form and distributed (sent by post or handed over) in paper form.
     

    Santanawinds

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    to forward a hard copy of something means to send the original. Once sent, you would not have the original anymore.

    to distribute would be to make official copies and sending those. In some businesses, this could mean having a numbering system for these copies, marking them with an official stamp or signing, and sending these copies, while keeping the original document.
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I don't think that distribute is limited to sending paper. Distribution list is a list of names to which emails can be sent. We'll have to wait and see what other people think.
     

    Rival

    Senior Member
    English - UK
    My feeling is that I 'forward' something to one person or to a few people. If I send it out to a large number of people, then I am 'distributing' it.

    Another difference is that I can only 'forward' something I have received from somebody else -- if I create it myself, the word 'forward' is inappropriate.

    By the way, use of 'sb.' and 'sth.' is against accepted usage in this forum. It really doesn't take long to type the words out in full.
    .
     

    hexis

    New Member
    Russian
    In computing forward often referred as a resending something to the further destination without changes. I.e the forwarder is not the original source. I.e. forwarding is the process of resending. So the information might be not authentic.

    To distribute means to give some information to some people. The distributor may or might not be the source of information. I.e. distributing is a process of giving information to someone. And the distributor is responsible for the information authenticity.
     
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