Varietal: to do with variety?

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Sheikh_14

Senior Member
English- United Kingdom, Urdu, Punjabi
Dear Foreros',

Would it be correct to perceive varietal to be intrinsically linked with having variety? For instance, would it be correct to state that X wanted to expand on the varietal content/element of his degree? What I mean by that is that the person sought to boost the eclecticism of his learning and engage in a larger variety of topics. The following is what I was able to gather from Websters.

va•ri•e•tal
(vəˈraɪ ɪ tl)

adj.
1. of or pertaining to a variety.
2. constituting a variety.
3. of or designating a wine made chiefly from one variety of grape.


Do let me know if my supposition is either correct or otherwise.

Best,
Sheikh
 
  • would it be correct to state that X wanted to expand on the varietal content/element of his degree?

    --Sounds very odd, indeed.

    He wanted to expand on the breadth of his degree work.
    He wanted to expand on the variety of courses for his degree.

    It not a word in common usage, except for wines, in my experience.
     

    Sheikh_14

    Senior Member
    English- United Kingdom, Urdu, Punjabi
    Social sciences abound with socially odd terms as ironic as that may seem. However, as much as I wanted to know whether it would be deemed correct to all and sundry the core purpose was to understand whether varietal had any relation to not a certain variety but to variety in general. From the definitions above it does appear to be very limited in it's scope. I would have assumed it was germane to both forms of variety I.e. One that connoted various forms and the other that relates to a specific one.
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Social sciences abound with socially odd terms as ironic as that may seem. However, as much as I wanted to know whether it would be deemed correct to all and sundry the core purpose was to understand whether varietal had any relation to not a certain variety but to variety in general. From the definitions above it does appear to be very limited in it's scope. I would have assumed it was germane to both forms of variety I.e. One that connoted various forms and the other that relates to a specific one.
    Well it isn't. The answers you've been given are correct.
     

    Sheikh_14

    Senior Member
    English- United Kingdom, Urdu, Punjabi
    I didn't say they were wrong in the first place, yet I am certain it has at some point been used in the manner I have mentioned. However, that wouldn't be it's conventional use thence the author must have used air quotes. This thread relates to the topic mentioned: Varieties or varietals?
    Here it is quoted that "In general standard English, "varietal" is normally an adjectival form of "variety"."

    This does make my initial supposition appear true since if it is an adjectivial form of variety then it would encapsulate the various strands of variety. Nonetheless, as there is a consensus amongst the clique gathered here what adjectivial term would you use in place of "varietal" to denote breadth and variety?
     
    Last edited:

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Definitions 1 and 2 that you quote are unfortunate; they use the words 'a variety' without saying what a variety is. I immediately think of a variety in the sense of a cultivar of a plant, because that's the only time I've seen 'varietal' used, but you can't get this from reading those definitions.
     

    Linkway

    Senior Member
    British English
    would it be correct to state that X wanted to expand on the varietal content/element of his degree?
    No, definitely not. "Varietal" is not used in that context and does not have the meaning that you want.

    If you carefully read the definitions you gave, you will see that "varietal" refers to ONE of several varieties.

    adj.
    1. of or pertaining to a variety.
    2. constituting a variety.
    3. of or designating a wine made chiefly from one variety of grape.
    "Varietal" is almost the opposite of what you

    Regarding the meaning that you say you want, I suggest "broaden" or "diversify" or "extend" or "enrich".

    However, if you want to communicate in a more precise way, I suggest that you need to think carefully what exactly you mean by "his degree".

    Perhaps you mean his degree studies, the subjects he can combine (or the options he can take) within the rules of the relevant university.

    In addition, while at university he might want to engage in studying things that are not stipulated by his official programme of study.

    For example, he might be studying classical English literature but also want to read poetry from Pakistan and Caribbean short stories, for example.


    Incidentally, you might find it relevant to research the concept of "deep learning" in higher education. And, separately, the notion of "blended learning" may interest you.
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    You might also look up clique while you're extending your studies. You can't really apply it to a few strangers who do not:
    A) know each other
    B) exclude others from their company.
     
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