spray / sparge / sprinkle

Amin-med

Senior Member
Hi there,
Can anyone clarify the difference between theses verbs?
Spray
Sparge
Sprinkle

As an Example :

Air is sparged/sprayed/sprinkled into the chloride solution.

Does the difference relate to the state of materials being scattered (solid/liquid/gas)?
Thanks
 
  • Greyfriar

    Senior Member
    Hello,

    The verb 'to sparge' means the same as 'to sprinkle'.

    I would say that air is pumped into the chloride solution. One can't spray or sprinkle air.

    I would say that gases are pumped, liquids are sprayed or sprinkled, amongst other things.


    Solids can't be sprayed or sprinkled. They can be added or introduced into liquids. A solid such as a soluble aspirin is dropped into water.

    However, I digress.........
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    In everyday use you sprinkle powders and liquids, and spray gases and liquids. Sprinkling is more of a downwards action - the powder falls from your hand, or a lawn sprinkler lets water from garden taps fall onto a lawn. Spraying is forceful, and the spray can be directed anywhere - outwards or upwards, like fly-spray to kill insects.

    I would have said forget about 'sparge', as purely a dictionary (and obsolete) word, but when I actually look in the dictionary I find it is still used in the technical sense of your quotation. So it seems to mean either spray or sprinkle, depending on the materials. But most people wouldn't understand the word.

    cross-posted
     

    Amin-med

    Senior Member
    Hello,

    The verb 'to sparge' means the same as 'to sprinkle'.

    I would say that air is pumped into the chloride solution. One can't spray or sprinkle air.

    I would say that gases are pumped, liquids are sprayed or sprinkled, amongst other things.


    Solids can't be sprayed or sprinkled. They can be added or introduced into liquids. A solid such as a soluble aspirin is dropped into water.

    However, I digress.........
    Thank you for your reply
    First, solid materials (such as powders) may be sprayed.
    Second, the sentence "air is sparged into chloride solution" has been written by a native in his thesis.
     

    panjandrum

    Occasional Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I have never heard of "sparge", but the OED has, of course:
    b. To aerate (a liquid) with air.
    1973 Nature 23 Feb. 534/1 The pH was adjusted to 3·8 with concentrated HCl and aeration and mixing accomplished by sparging with air.
     
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