1. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    is there a difference?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by Cacian, Feb 2, 2012.

    I always get these two verbs confused

    despicable
    and
    unspeakable

    1)the origin of despicable derives from 'despise'
    2)the origin of unspeakable derives from the verb 'speak'

    despise is a negative verb, is there a need to turn it into an adjective to mean the same thing again when you can use it as verb because it is self explanatory.

    He despises what he said
    or
    He thought it was despicable what he said.

    aren't these two sentences repetitive/samy?

    whereas speak to unspeakable is perhaps understood why one needs need to turn a positive into a negative adjective.
    like desire and undesirable.

    He spoke despicably of him.
    or
    It was unspeakbale what he said?

    which of these would you use mainly?
     
  2. jc.
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    jc. Contributing Member

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    I feel that the connotations of both words are quite different.

    Sarah's uncle has done despicable things to her.

    Sarah's uncle has done unspeakable things to her.

    Despicable is something you strongly dislike/disapprove of, but unspeakable is something you can't even begin to describe because it's so sickening. I feel that unspeakable is a stronger word.
     
  3. quincarroll
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    quincarroll Member

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    The two words have two very different meanings, but both can be used to convey that something very bad has happened or has been done.

    The things that Sarah's uncle did to her were despicable. (meaning that her uncle's actions were worthy of being despised)

    or

    The things that Sarah's uncle did to her were unspeakable. (meaning that her uncle's actions were so horrible that words cannot describe them)

    Two different meanings, but they both convey the Sarah's uncle wasn't a nice man.

    That's how I understand them :)
     
  4. Cacian
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    Cacian Banned

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    Hey thank you jc and quincarroll:)
    I have to be honest I don't see the difference..I keep thinking they mean the same only the spelling is difference.

    The fact that we are saying this
    what he did is despicable.
    or
    what he did is unspeakable.

    these two adjectives do not state what he did but describe what we think about it hence unspeakable.
     
  5. Ziggy Stardust
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    Ziggy Stardust Active Member

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    what he did is despicable

    What he did is deserving of being despised.

    what he did is unspeakable

    What he did is inexpressibly bad.

    Two quite different meanings. Though something despicable might also be unspeakable, and vice versa.
     
  6. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    They are adjectives, not verbs.
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    and you are wrong about the only difference being the spelling, cacian... ziggy, jc and quin are right on the money...
     

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