0
   

can ameliorate mean mitigate?

 
 
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2017 01:36 pm
I just took a vocabulary exam and got this question wrong. Sad

Apparently a synonym of ameliorate is mitigate? How does this make sense?

Thank you.
 
centrox
 
  3  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2017 01:49 pm
They do not mean precisely the same thing. To ameliorate is to make better, to improve; to heal something bad, while to mitigate is to reduce, lessen, or decrease the severity of something bad.

Oxford Dictionaries:

Ameliorate:
Make (something bad or unsatisfactory) better.

Mitigate:
Make (something bad) less severe, serious, or painful.





dalehileman
 
  -3  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2017 02:08 pm
@perennialloner,
My reaction Neil is that they often make fine syns. However as usu, Trox above hits it on the nose

Oops, 'Nial'
Well, pron same
0 Replies
 
perennialloner
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2017 02:14 pm
@centrox,
I personally don't see how they mean even close to the same thing. They both have meanings that aim to prevent bad things from happening, but to say they're synonyms is like saying lessen and improve are synonyms. They could not be replaced in a sentence and make sense, or even nearly sense. If they are synonyms, then my understanding of what a synonym is must be wrong? Is both words having a positive connotation enough to make them synonyms?
dalehileman
 
  -2  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2017 02:18 pm
@perennialloner,
Holy cow loner, no offense, but just think about it for a while. Why couldn't an amelioration mitigate
centrox
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2017 02:32 pm
@perennialloner,
perennialloner wrote:
I personally don't see how they mean even close to the same thing.

They more or less mean the same thing, but tend to be used in different situations. To ameliorate is to make a bad thing better; to mitigate is to make a bad thing less bad. We might use 'ameliorate' if a substantially positive outcome is achieved, or the badness becomes negligible or bearable, and 'mitigate' if a bad outcome is achieved, which is less bad than if the effort had not been made, but which is still substantially undesirable.
.
perennialloner
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2017 02:35 pm
@dalehileman,
1. I'm offended. 2. Never said it couldn't. You're just a douche.
centrox
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2017 02:35 pm
Please concentrate on the matter at hand, and stop silly arguments.
0 Replies
 
timur
 
  2  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2017 02:36 pm
@centrox,
Indeed.

I was hoping Dale could ameliorate his behavior but he his not even mitigating it..
perennialloner
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2017 02:37 pm
@centrox,
I see your point, but does that make them synonyms is my question? I want to contest the stated correct answer, but I'm unclear whether you consider them synonymous. I know Dale does, but I don't trust him.

EDIT: Well with the way Timur used them, I can see them as interchangeable.
centrox
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2017 02:44 pm
@perennialloner,
perennialloner wrote:

I see your point, but does that make them synonyms is my question? I want to contest the stated correct answer, but I'm unclear whether you consider them synonymous. I know Dale does, but I don't trust him.

Collins English Dictionary, Macmillan Dictionary and Thesaurus.com say they are synonyms; Merriam-Webster merely says they are 'related'. I don't think they are so wildly different in meaning that calling them synonyms is a gross error, and a convincing argument could be made that they are synonyms. That's the best I can do.

dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2017 02:48 pm
@timur,
Quote:
not even mitigating it
Not even
0 Replies
 
perennialloner
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2017 02:48 pm
@centrox,
Thank you for your help.
dalehileman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2017 02:53 pm
@perennialloner,
Quote:
1. I'm offended.
I'm sorry

Quote:
2. Never said it couldn't.
What couldn't do what, Neil

Quote:
You're just a douche. an obnoxious or contemptible person


Whaddya mean, obnoxious
0 Replies
 
centrox
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2017 02:57 pm
@perennialloner,
I have thought of this: if my two (imaginary) sons were arguing all the time about who shall play on the single X-Box in the house, I could ameliorate the situation by buying a second one. If I have a headache I could take some kind of medication to mitigate the pain. In both cases, I have done something to improve the situation. In the first, I am focusing on the better outcome, and in the second, on an outcome which, while it is bad, (I still have a slight headache), it is not as bad as it could have been.



perennialloner
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2017 03:15 pm
@centrox,
Thanks for that. You all are right. I didn't understand because in my mind ameliorate equaled raise while mitigate equaled diminish or decrease, which seemed opposite to raise.
centrox
 
  2  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2017 03:18 pm
@perennialloner,
perennialloner wrote:
in my mind ameliorate equaled raise while mitigate equaled diminish or decrease

Well, using temperature to provide an analogy, to what extent do 'warmer' and 'less cold' mean the same thing, and to what extent do they not?
perennialloner
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2017 04:26 pm
@centrox,
I guess their meanings are more alike than different, but are they alike enough to be synonyms? As you said, a convincing argument can be made. I don't know if that was a rhetorical question.

However, and this is me justifying my wrong answer at this point, can mitigating be used to diminish positive effects?
centrox
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2017 04:34 pm
@perennialloner,
perennialloner wrote:
However, and this is me justifying my wrong answer at this point, can mitigating be used to diminish positive effects?

No. Definitely not. As dictionaries make clear (as I have shown), to mitigate is to make a bad thing less bad.


perennialloner
 
  1  
Reply Thu 23 Feb, 2017 04:39 pm
@centrox,
Alright. Thanks, again.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

deal - Question by WBYeats
Drs. = female doctor? - Question by oristarA
Let pupils abandon spelling rules, says academic - Discussion by Robert Gentel
Please, I need help. - Question by imsak
Is this sentence grammatically correct? - Question by Sydney-Strock
"come from" - Question by mcook
 
  1. Forums
  2. » can ameliorate mean mitigate?
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.05 seconds on 09/19/2019 at 05:12:04