oversensitiveness and oversensitivity

< Previous | Next >

HSS

Senior Member
Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
His shyness and oversensitiveness always puts him in a lot of trouble.

After leafing through the pages of a lot of dictionaries, it is still difficult for me to distinguish 'oversensitiveness' and 'oversensitivity.' Should I replace the oversensitivity for oversensitiveness above?

Hiro
 
  • Hermione Golightly

    Senior Member
    British English
    I don't know if there is any difference except that 'oversensitiveness' is a truly ugly word. I would replace it with 'oversensitivity', especially if the author was an understanding sort of person.
     
    Last edited:

    reno33

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Well, I'm going to remove the "over" in both cases since that only makes the spelling tedious.

    According to my research, sensitiveness and sensitivity both mean "the state or quality of being sensitive".
    In other words, for all practical purposes, they both mean the same thing.

    However, the term sensitivity is much more in use in all kinds of contexts and situations. You could use sensitiveness in a lot of similar situations, but it's not necessary.......there really is no distinction, I would say unless you really wanted to get fussy.

    In your sentence, "His shyness and oversensitiveness always give him a lot of trouble" I would definitely replace oversensitiveness with. over sensitivity ...in fact the term"over" is not really necessary....just say "sensitivity" and the meaning remains practically the same.
     

    HSS

    Senior Member
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    Hi, HG.

    Oh, oversensitiveness is THAT ugly. My first reaction in rendering the sentence was 'oversensitiveness' was a (continual) trait whereas 'oversensitivity' was an event that happens to a person.

    [1] It's the oversensitiveness in him that keeps people away.
    [2] People sometimes experience oversensitivity to this level of brightness.

    How are they?
     

    HSS

    Senior Member
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    [...]
    In your sentence, "His shyness and oversensitiveness always give him a lot of trouble" I would definitely replace oversensitiveness with. over sensitivity ...in fact the term"over" is not really necessary....just say "sensitivity" and the meaning remains practically the same.
    Hi, Reno.
    Thanks for your research. Just why would you DEFINITELY replace oversensitiveness with oversensitivity if you don't mind me asking? Is it your guts telling? Or, any nuance behind it?
     

    reno33

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    Hi, Reno.
    Thanks for your research. Just why would you DEFINITELY replace oversensitiveness with oversensitivity if you don't mind me asking? Is it your guts telling? Or, any nuance behind it?
    I really think it's simply because "over sensitivity" (it's two words, by the way, not one) is shorter than the other one. Also, the one ending in -ness sounds somewhat ostentatious to me. That's all.
     

    HSS

    Senior Member
    Standard Japanese, Sendaian Japanese
    Thank you for your explanation, Reno. So this -ness word sounds too exaggerated.

    I wonder if there is a short-term-long-term difference, anyone?
     

    heypresto

    Senior Member
    English - England
    It's not that 'oversensitiveness' is "too exaggerated", it's that it's ugly and unnecessary.

    I wonder if there is a short-term-long-term difference, anyone?
    No, there's no difference, apart from the relatively frequencies of their use.

    The OED and all the dictionaries I've looked in have it as one word.
     

    reno33

    Senior Member
    English - USA
    The OED and all the dictionaries I've looked in have it as one word.
    You're right. I don't know where I saw it as two words....wherever it was, I can't locate it now and all the dict. I just consulted again show it as one word.
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    "Oversensitivity" is certainly preferable to "oversensitiveness" in my eyes. It is, of course, a single word, created over time like any other compound word (two words -> hyphenated -> one word). It also has a distinct difference in meaning from "sensitivity". There is no reason why being sensitive should be seen as a negative quality - it is his excessive sensitivity that creates the OP subject's problems.
     
    < Previous | Next >
    Top