Re: Rarely vs Seldom
- From: Robert Bannister <robban@xxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2005 07:29:12 +0800
Rick Wotnaz wrote:
Robert Bannister wrote:
Jim Lawton 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 .