To Tilt/Cant/Slant/Incline

HellFell

New Member
Russian
As I understand, the verbs tilt, cant, slant, incline are synonyms, but I fail to grasp the subtle differences between them. Could you help me?

Here are some sentences that I wrote:

"My aching foot was resting on a pillow, its toes canted/tilted/slanted(?) outwards."
"His daughter tilted her head like a dog and said: "Pleeeease, I want that doll!""
"Despite his attempts to stand straight on the log, his body was slanting/tilting/canting(?) from side to side"
 
  • tepatria

    Senior Member
    Canadian English
    Welcome to the forum HellFell. The difference in these synonyms is not so much the meanings as how we use them. The word cant is old fashioned and not used very often. I don't think I've heard anyone say it and seldom see it written. We talk about the incline of a road or being inclined towards something. Tilt and slant can be used interchangeably. In your sentences, I would say your toes were tilted and your daughters head was tilted. As for him standing on the log, once again I think tilted is the best choice. Slanting is usually static rather than moving.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Welcome to the forum HellFell. The difference in these synonyms is not so much the meanings as how we use them. The word cant is old fashioned and not used very often. I don't think I've heard anyone say it and seldom see it written. We talk about the incline of a road or being inclined towards something. Tilt and slant can be used interchangeably. In your sentences, I would say your toes were tilted and your daughters head was tilted. As for him standing on the log, once again I think tilted is the best choice. Slanting is usually static rather than moving.
    Well, the old-timer that I am, I used "canted" within these forums in the last few days. I believe I used it to indicate a general opinion shift. I would use it like this today:

    His entire attitude is canted toward the negative; nothing anyone does is any good.

    I did search and found my post. Here is what I wrote:

    "Not fair" was Lot's wife turning to a pillar of salt. (Though I admit that angels warned her, the punishment does not seem proportionate with the offense.)

    And for all the kind words we hear nowadays, the bible lists "punish" (171) more than "forgive" (121). It seems canted towards the harsh side.
     
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