poorness vs. poverty

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Pineta

Member
German - Germany
Hello everbody,
I wonder if someone could help? Are "poorness" and "poverty" synonyms or is there a difference in use? I' d suspect "poorness" only to be used in a figurative sense? Or could you speak about e.g. "the poorness in some areas of the country".
Thanky for your help,
Pineta
 
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    I don't think I've ever seen 'poorness'. Although you can always add -ness to an adjective, in practice 'poverty' is the word always used in all situations.
     

    e2efour

    Senior Member
    UK English
    I have rarely seen poorness and have not seen it in the sense of someone who is poor.
    There is an established phrase in statistics (poorness of fit), when a model does not fit the data (i.e. the model is a poor one).
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Yes, I have seen 'poorness of fit', quite right. Also, 'poorness' may be appropriate when 'poor' means "bad in quality", as in poor exam results: the poorness of the exam results. But 'poverty' is overwhelmingly more common overall.
     

    compaqdrew

    Senior Member
    English - AE
    OED gives for poorness:

    the state of lacking or being deficient in some desirable quality or constituent: the poorness of the food.
    I see it used in the formula "poorness of X" like poorness of health, poorness of fit, poorness of the lighting, etc. It is not used for money, and it usually specifically names the dimension being studied. It is also, as the other posters indicate, not a very common word. I would say you are likely to run into it in an academic or technical context.
     

    Pineta

    Member
    German - Germany
    Thank you very much to all of you, you confirm my doubts and gave me valuable information about how to use it, if ever.
    Have a wonderful day!
    :) Pineta
     

    EdisonBhola

    Senior Member
    Korean
    OED gives for poorness:



    I see it used in the formula "poorness of X" like poorness of health, poorness of fit, poorness of the lighting, etc. It is not used for money, and it usually specifically names the dimension being studied. It is also, as the other posters indicate, not a very common word. I would say you are likely to run into it in an academic or technical context.
    I found the following example sentence from the Oxford Dictionary:

    "Somewhere I have a family tree from my Mothers paternal history and it appears that our trash poorness extended back to the 17th century."

    Doesn't the poorness here mean poverty?
     
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