Re: Rarely vs Seldom

Rick Wotnaz wrote:
"Skitt" wrote:
Rick Wotnaz wrote:
"Skitt" wrote:
Robert Bannister wrote:

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".

Exactly. So he said that 'seldom' occurs rarely, while 'rarely' occurs seldom (that is, less rarely), as I wrote above.

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.

True, dat. It was contrary to what he wrote, and actually contrary to what I thought I was saying. Discussion of what rarely occurs would seem to happen more often than of what seldom occurs. That's news reporting, isn't it?

This is difficult because, if Robert is correct, the frequency of
occurrence of 'rarely' or 'seldom' is inverse to the senses of the
terms (in my speech, at least), so whether the sentence refers to
the meaning of the word or the frequency of its usage can be
confusing to such a one as myself.

I don't see a difference in the two terms, and I was merely poking fun at the whole thing and trying to insert a confusion factor. It seems, I succeeded.

Never mind the whole thing.
Skitt (in SF Bay Area)
.... and that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana-shaped.
-- Sir Bedevere