outstanding or wonderful

Takahero

Senior Member
Japanese
Hello.
Do outstanding and wonderful differ in degree of greatness?

1.I was satisfied with the wonderful plays we saw at the stadium.
2.I was satisfied with the outstanding plays we saw at the stadium.

Thank you.
 
  • PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    Well, they mean different things, so it is hard to say; have a look in our dictionary by entering the words in the search box above.
     

    AngelEyes

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    If wonderful means full of wonder, and outstanding means standing out above and beyond all the rest, I know which one I'd rather have my work described as.

    What do you think, takeahero?
     

    AngelEyes

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    Good point, Parla! At the very least, you'd say "I was very/extremely satisfied..."
     

    Wordsmyth

    Senior Member
    Native language: English (BrE)
    I'm a bit late in on this one, Takahero, but I wanted to add a little warning. Adjectives of quality don't necessarily have a fixed degree of that quality (unless they're absolutes). So different people comparing such words may well position them differently on a scale of 'greatness'.

    I agree with AngelEyes' suggestion that "outstanding means standing out above and beyond all the rest". However a recent experience showed that that's not universal. Our HR people wanted managers to use standardised terminology in employees' performance appraisals, though they didn't want to introduce a quantitative rating scale. So they proposed eleven terms, without explicitly stating an order of lowest-to-highest. These terms included "outstanding" and "excellent". Several of us used "excellent" as meaning "better than very good", and "outstanding" as "standing out above and beyond all the rest", so higher than "excellent". Then an HR bod asked why I had apparently downgraded someone whom I had praised highly the previous year, to merely "outstanding" this year! That led to a discovery that there was no common interpretation of "outstanding" vs "excellent" — and a number of appraisals had to be redone!

    Ws
    :)
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I wonder what word you want to apply wonderful/outstanding to? By plays do you mean theatrical entertainment (with actors)? If so, I agree that satisfied is an odd word to go with either of the words you are asking about.
     

    Wordsmyth

    Senior Member
    Native language: English (BrE)
    As Takahero is offline, I'll jump his gun and suggest that, since the plays took place at a stadium, they're probably sporting rather than theatrical.

    Whatever, I'd say that Parla's point applies: satisfied and wonderful/outstanding aren't usually in the same ballpark (or stadium! ;))

    ... unless the speaker (let's say a team coach for example) would not be satisfied with anything less than outstanding play: then, of course, it would make sense.

    Ws:)
     
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