his commitment/dedication/devotion to volunteer service

Discussion in 'English Only' started by bamboo--tw, Mar 12, 2008.

  1. bamboo--tw Senior Member

    Anderson was awarded a medal of honor for his commitment to volunteer service.

    Is "commitment" in the above interchangeable with "dedication and devotion? Thanks.
  2. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    English English
    Hi Bamboo. All three sound okay to me. (I'm slightly hesitant about devotion, but it certainly wouldn't be 'wrong' to use it.)
  3. bamboo--tw Senior Member

    Thanks, ewie.
    I'm curious about the reason you're hesitant about "devotion." Are there subtle differences between it and the other two?
  4. Loob

    Loob Senior Member

    English UK
    I'd be hesitant about devotion, too, bamboo.

    Devotion was originally used only in a religious sense, and it still tends to have a flavour of strong emotional attachment or even "worship" about it. We talk, for example about a married couple being devoted to one another; or a mother being devoted to her children.

    The only phrase I can immediately think of where it doesn't have that emotional flavour is "devotion to duty".

    I'd prefer the more "neutral" commitment or dedication here.
  5. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    English English
    Yes, my hesitation was exactly the same as Loob's: it just sounds a wee bit emotional for volunteer service.
  6. bamboo--tw Senior Member

    Thanks, ewie and Loob.
    Got it.

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