Compare and Contrast

The same, only different


So the Daily Post wants me to write a post about the word contrast. So I think, “Yeah, I can do this. I’ll do a compare and contrast essay.”

words-639303_640Then I begin to think, “Hmm, wonder what I could compare and contrast that wouldn’t involve too much, because time and all, and well, reasons.” So I begin pondering what to compare and contrast, with a keen eye towards something that’s easy, that I can do in a short session. And I ponder. And ponder. And then it hits me. Let’s compare and contrast the words compare and contrast! Brilliant!

So I trot off to find the dictionary and begin with definitions of both words. Well, actually, I started up the Google machine, but the word trotted implies action, and I want all of you to think of rudyblues as a Real Man of Action. A Real Man of Action doesn’t Google, he trots off.

So I Googled the word compare. OK, comes from the Latin stem com-, meaning with, and the Latin suffix -par, meaning equal, so compar, “with equal,” like or equal. Easy enough. Morphed its way through Latin comparare and Old French comparer to the late Middle English compare. Just like that.

Then I look at the modern English meaning, and when I get to synonyms, I see “contrast.” Wait a minute, how can I compare and contrast two words that are synonyms? How can a compare and contrast essay work if both words mean the same thing? Something’s rotten in Denmark. Sorry Danes.

Google says contrast comes from the Latin stem contra-, meaning against, and the Latin suffix –stare, which means stand, which came together in Medieval Latin into contrastare, “against stand”, which makes no sense, but I suppose it means stand against. Made its way through Italian and French to the modern English word contrast. Just jake.

But the modern English meaning of contrast makes no mention of a synonym compare. It does use compare in the definition of one sense of contrast, so I guess when you contrast something, you’re really making a comparison of differences. The same, only different.

So, to demonstrate my new found mastery of the words compare and contrast, I offer the following.

A post from rudyblues uses the same letters and words when compared with the post of a good blogger. But that’s where the comparison ends. In contrast, posts from rudyblues rarely reveal anything worthwhile, so the benefit in reading them rarely compares with the benefit of reading a post from a good blogger.

OK, I think I’ve got it.


Author: rudyblues57

A fellow traveler in our journey around the neighborhood thermonuclear explosion. Full of random thoughts and esoteric observations about the human condition, how we treat each other, and other detritus of life.

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