The English Language Essay

1384 Words Jul 27th, 2015 null Page
A synonym is defined as a word or phrase that means the same or nearly the same as another word or phrase in the same language. Throughout the history of the English language, several synonyms appeared around the Middle Ages after the Norman invasion of England. Although England’s new leaders communicated through the Norman French language, the native inhabitants of England continued to speak Old English which resulted in Norman and Saxon-derived synonyms. With the later invention of the thesaurus, a recorded listing of words grouped together according to relationship of meaning are provided for public use. One would assume that the thesaurus is simply a list of synonyms for a specific word, but it should not be treated that way. The records are also designed to help English speakers make distinctions between words that are similar and choosing the right word for the corresponded situation. Although a group of synonyms possess the same underlining meaning, all the words in that group may not work in the same situation. Therefore, it is important for English speakers and learners to differentiate between the words and the equivalent situation which makes synonyms bound to context. For example, the word “die” and “expire” are registered in the same entry, but the two words are not always interchangeable. The phrase “he or she died” is the same as “he or she expired”, but the phrase “the milk expired” cannot be replaced with “the milk died”. Through the use of the Oxford…

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