Re: Rarely vs Seldom



Skitt wrote:

Rick Wotnaz wrote:

"Skitt" wrote:

Robert Bannister wrote:

Jim Lawton wrote:

(seashell) wrote:


What is the difference in meaning/usage between the terms
"rarely" and "seldom"?

My Collins uses "seldom" as its explanation of "rarely" and vice versa. I feel no difference whatsoever.


Nevertheless, I would suggest that "seldom" is used less often
than "rarely", which would imply some slight difference of
tone.


So, what you are saying is that "seldom" is used seldom, but
"rarely" is used rarely.  Got it.


To me, what he wrote meant was that 'seldom' is rarely used, while
'rarely' is seldom used.

That is to say that in my usage something that *rarely* occurs
happens less often than something that *seldom* occurs.


That's not what Robert wrote. He said that "seldom" occurred less often than "rarely".

Possibly
for that reason, the term 'seldom' would be more likely to appear
in a text. There are more occurrences of things that seldom happen
than things that rarely happen.


Again, that's not what Robert wrote.

Thank you. I do not agree that there is a meaning difference - at least not in the circles I have mixed in over the years. But, since "seldom" (in my opinion, since I don't know how to prove this and don't trust Google) seems to be used less frequently than "rarely", I assume it has a very slightly more literary feel to it.


--
Rob Bannister
.



Relevant Pages

  • Re: Rarely vs Seldom
    ... I feel no difference whatsoever. ... which would imply some slight difference of tone. ... 'rarely' is seldom used. ...
    (alt.usage.english)
  • Re: Rarely vs Seldom
    ... which would imply some slight difference of tone. ... happens less often than something that *seldom* occurs. ... confusing to such a one as myself. ...
    (alt.usage.english)
  • Re: Rarely vs Seldom
    ... > Rick Wotnaz wrote: ... >> while 'rarely' is seldom used. ... There are more occurrences of things that ... that's not what Robert wrote. ...
    (alt.usage.english)
  • Re: Rarely vs Seldom
    ... >>> versa. ... I feel no difference whatsoever. ... >> tone. ... > So, what you are saying is that "seldom" is used seldom, but ...
    (alt.usage.english)