prominent/ pronounced

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redgiant

Senior Member
Cantonese, Hong Kong
Elizabeth often considered rearranging her office to make the chairs more prominent, but then again, a girl had to have some fun

Source: Alone, D.D Warren
I guess "prominent" here means "easy to see or notice". But this explanation is shared with other words like "pronounced""

http://www.onelook.com/?w=pronounced&ls=a

What do you think if "prominent' is replaced with "pronounced" ? Does it work?
 
  • JamesM

    Senior Member
    To me, "pronounced" means that something sticks out. It is something that is out of proportion to expectations.

    "...to make the chairs more pronounced..." sounds odd to me because you can't change the proportions of the chair.

    "He has a pronounced accent." = "His accent is very thick."
    "She has a pronounced chin." = "Her chin is the most noticeable feature on her face. It is unusually large for her face."
    "The wall has a pronounced curve." = "The wall has quite a large curve to it. It's the first thing you notice about the wall."

    This is only my opinion, but I think "pronounced" is generally more negative than positive, while "prominent" is more generally positive than negative. Others may see it differently.
     

    redgiant

    Senior Member
    Cantonese, Hong Kong
    "She has a pronounced chin." = "Her chin is the most noticeable feature on her face. It is unusually large for her face."
    Thanks for the explanations, James. I just found that "prominent chin/nose" is common too
     

    PaulQ

    Senior Member
    UK
    English - England
    I think if "prominent' is replaced with "pronounced", the sentence will fail completely in meaning.

    Although prominent = standing out so as to be seen easily; conspicuous; particularly noticeable, etc "Her nose was a prominent feature."
    pronounced = strongly marked, unequivocal, certain, positive, decided "She had pronounced views on poor people."

    Although you may think that there is not much between
    conspicuous and strongly marked, you can make the chairs more conspicuous, but you cannot make the chairs more strongly marked
     

    redgiant

    Senior Member
    Cantonese, Hong Kong
    I think if "prominent' is replaced with "pronounced", the sentence will fail completely in meaning.

    Although prominent = standing out so as to be seen easily; conspicuous; particularly noticeable, etc "Her nose was a prominent feature."
    pronounced = strongly marked, unequivocal, certain, positive, decided "She had pronounced views on poor people."

    Although you may think that there is not much between
    conspicuous and strongly marked, you can make the chairs more conspicuous, but you cannot make the chairs more strongly marked
    Thanks Paul Q, but what does "strongly marked" actually mean? The definition is vague on this site:"adjective: strongly marked; easily noticeable ("Walked with a marked limp")" http://www.onelook.com/?w=marked&ls=a&loc=2osdf
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    To me, making the chairs more pronounced would involve making them more chair-like (more strongly marked as being chairs).
    Imagine you're standing in an almost empty room with a cube in the middle of the floor. It is very easy to notice this cube as it is the only thing in the room - it is very prominent. Your host walks in and asks if you'd like to sit down. You say, "I would but there aren't any chairs." The host points to the very prominent cube and says, "There's a chair right there." The chair is not very pronounced.
     
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