Manuscript vs draft

Discussion in 'English Only' started by maskros, Mar 25, 2009.

  1. maskros New Member

    I check those words up, and they seem to have a somewhat similar meaning. However, I wonder if there is any difference between these two words. Could you please tell me whether they are synonyms, or are they really different in meaning?
    Thank you in advance
  2. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    It would help if you would tell us more about what you have discovered.
    That is essential context for your question, otherwise we don't understand your difficulty.

    I would say that a manuscript has been written by hand.
    It may be the final version of something that is now to be printed/published.

    A draft may be handwritten or typed and may not be on paper.
    It is not the final version - unless it is labelled "final draft".

    Can you explain more about your uncertainty?
  3. maskros New Member

    Thank you Panja for your explanation.
    I understand that manuscript refers to document written, or engraved, by hand. And draft can also refer to sketch or design.
    My difficulty is: Is there any context where manuscript and draft can be used as close synonyms? Or each word should be used in different context?
    For example, we often use manuscript for document ready to be published. Can we use manuscript for designs or sketches (done by hand) ready for publication?
    Or is it correct if I say after several drafts, we have the manuscript, which also means 'final draft' just as you mentioned?

    As for your answer, it has helped me a lot already. That is exactly what I am looking for :). I just have a few more points that make me confused.
  4. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    A manuscript may, under certain specific circumstances, be a draft. There is nothing inherent in the word manuscript that implies a draft. To that extent, they are not synonyms. Rather, the terms may coincide. That will be a function of context, rather than definition.

    Likewise, a draft may be in the form of a handwritten manuscript (yes, handwritten manuscript is tautological) but a draft may take other forms. Again, it is context that determines whether the terms overlap.
  5. maskros New Member

    Thanks, Cuchuflete.
    I wonder if you could give me an example where 'manuscript' and 'draft' overlap?
  6. natkretep

    natkretep Moderato con anima (English Only)

    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    'Manuscript' is used in two ways - one reflects the etymology: manu (hand) script (write) - handwritten. We might talk about the illustrated manuscripts.

    It can, in academic contexts, also be used to refer to a text that hasn't been published - whether handwritten or not. If I want to submit an article or a book for publication, I might say that I have a MS or several MSS (standard abbreviations for 'manuscript' and 'manuscripts') to submit. This MS might in fact have never existed in paper form, but typically a printout is submitted and it is this that is referred to as the MS.

    If it is ready for submission, you wouldn't call it a 'draft' normally. 'Draft' suggests that an updated version is forthcoming.

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