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Subject:  Re: The housing market and the candidates Date:  10/4/2012  6:55 PM
Author:  foo1bar Number:  124334 of 128887

She wasn't putting too much *meaning* into it...
Let's substitute in a better term, so the different definitions of "meaning" aren't causing confusion.
"... too much *significance* into ..."

the specific meaning is there regardless if the majority of the public are unaware of the distinction.

If the majority of the public believes that there is no distinction, then at least one definition IS that there isn't a distinction. Dictionaries and definitions are based on how terms are used, so if many people say they're the same thing, they are the same thing. And yet because there are established definitions where they're different, they can be different at the same time, and determining which definition is appropriate depends on context.
So while speaking about the Dodd/Frank law, and it's legal terms, they could be different, but at the same time, while speaking to a general audience in general terms they can be the same. Without knowing more context of the comments, I'd say they're being used interchangably, and that for the audience (ie. general public) it's reasonable to consider them the same.
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