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Author: catfyre Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 13861  
Subject: Wondering Date: 9/26/2012 4:16 PM
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Just wondering why the words 'barely' and 'hardly' are interchangeable when referring to an almost imperceptible condition like "He was barely breathing", or "He was hardly breathing"), but the words 'bare' and 'hard' are dissimilar. (most of the time ;o)


cat
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Author: TMBFAverageJoe Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12607 of 13861
Subject: Re: Wondering Date: 9/26/2012 6:58 PM
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I suppose it's the same reason as "slim chance" and "fat chance" meaning the same thing.

~aj

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Author: Frydaze1 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12608 of 13861
Subject: Re: Wondering Date: 9/26/2012 7:24 PM
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Hmmm... I wonder if it's related to "hard on the heels of" (meaning really, really close) and other similar expressions? Perhaps "hard" meant "near" at one point?


Frydaze1

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Author: Frydaze1 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12609 of 13861
Subject: Re: Wondering Date: 9/26/2012 7:25 PM
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Okay, correction, "hard on the heels" means right behind, rather than close. But still, the "hard" in that sentence seems to mean "close".


Frydaze1

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Author: knighttof3 Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12610 of 13861
Subject: Re: Wondering Date: 9/26/2012 8:36 PM
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Okay, correction, "hard on the heels" means right behind, rather than close. But still, the "hard" in that sentence seems to mean "close".

I think "hardly" is a simple contrast to "easily" as in easy vs hard = difficult. "He was easily breathing" vs "he was hardly breathing". (Not good grammar, just trying to get the point across.)

No idea why "bare" would mean "imperceptible". "Clothed" doesn't mean a sure thing.

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Author: warrl Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12611 of 13861
Subject: Re: Wondering Date: 9/26/2012 11:40 PM
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I suppose it's the same reason as "slim chance" and "fat chance" meaning the same thing.

Or the fact that if a house burns up it burns down.

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Author: TMBFAverageJoe Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12612 of 13861
Subject: Re: Wondering Date: 9/27/2012 1:52 AM
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"if a house burns up it burns down. "

The end result is the same—unlike between "knocked down" and "knocked up" :-)

~aj

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Author: warrl Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12613 of 13861
Subject: Re: Wondering Date: 9/27/2012 2:25 AM
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The end result is the same—unlike between "knocked down" and "knocked up" :-)

However, "knocked down" sometimes means the same thing as "knocked over".

And sometimes not.

So, naturally, I went looking to see if there is an expression "knock under", and found something quite surprising.

   To knock up, to fail of strength; to become wearied or worn
out, as with labor; to give out. "The horses were
beginning to knock up under the fatigue of such severe
service." --De Quincey.


I think somebody needs to have a word with these people...

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Author: Frydaze1 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12614 of 13861
Subject: Re: Wondering Date: 9/27/2012 4:05 AM
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I've always assumed that fat chance was sarcastic. Which is why it means the same as slim chance.

Frydaze1

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Author: legalwordwarrior Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12622 of 13861
Subject: Re: Wondering Date: 9/28/2012 2:58 PM
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I think the issue here is that the adverb "barely" doesn't really have anything to do with being bare.

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/barely

Hardly is considered an acceptable synonym for barely.

Just more vagaries of the English language, which is made up of so many contradictory rules, it's amazing that anyone not born as a native speaker ever manages to use it correctly.

LWW

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Author: sheila727 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12629 of 13861
Subject: Re: Wondering Date: 10/1/2012 8:29 PM
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MacMillan's says that the word "hardly" is not related to the word "hard."

It's not even barely related.


sheila

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Author: RaplhCramden Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 12733 of 13861
Subject: Re: Wondering Date: 11/15/2012 4:15 PM
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Just wondering why the words 'barely' and 'hardly' are interchangeable when referring to an almost imperceptible condition like "He was barely breathing", or "He was hardly breathing"), but the words 'bare' and 'hard' are dissimilar. (most of the time ;o)

You are wondering if they are barely interchangeable or hardly interchangeable?

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