[Milton-L] Nude or Naked?

Daniel W. Doerksen dwd at unb.ca
Tue Jul 26 16:51:41 EDT 2011

Hannibal refers to "a false distinction between actual synonyms." This 
might be taken to imply that synonyms are identical in meaning. However, 
the richness of the English language comes in part from the fact that words 
classed as synonyms in the dictionary regularly have various shades of 
difference. "Nude" and "naked" are synonyms but have almost necessarily 
picked up differences of meaning from the way in which they are used. 
Wouldn't the language be impoverished if the two words were simply identical?

Dan Doerksen

At 02:32 PM 7/25/2011, you wrote, in part:
>I think "nude" and "naked" are words that originally meant exactly the 
>same thing (indeed the OED suggests they share the same Indo-european 
>root) but which have been appropriated as terms of art by art historians 
>post Kenneth Clark. Like others in this discussion, I'm skeptical about 
>the distinction. My skepticism begins with the use of the words 
>themselves, in other words with what seems a false distinction between 
>actual synonyms.

Daniel W. Doerksen 
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