1. MatrixGravity
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    MatrixGravity Senior Member

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    What's the difference between these words?

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by MatrixGravity, Apr 3, 2011.

    In your own definition if you can.

    Attain
    Obtain
    Derive
    Acquire

    Can somebody teach me the differences? They all sound very familiar.

    Also what's the difference between

    Simply
    Merely
    Solely

    Also, there was a word that caught my attention. ORCHESTRATING. Does this mean "setting it up"?
    "We are orchestrating a musical event and we will be featuring brand new artists from around the world."
    I wrote the above sentence myself. Is that correct?

    Thank you!
     
  2. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Attain
    Obtain
    Acquire

    Are all very similar. Obtain and Acquire are probably synonyms, to go with getting something. To me "attain" is more to do with non-physical things, like, you attain enlightenment, whereas you might obtain a new iPad. Very different things.:p Attaining is probably like, gaining a new state after striving for it. I dunno. Just based off my mental context. Go look them up in a dictionary.

    Derive

    Is the action of getting something from something else. So you derive squash from mixing concentrated juice and water. Or derive knowledge from reading a book. You can't probably use them both in a sentence without it looking redundant, but you'd probably derive something from something else to obtain it.

    I'm probably so confusing you. :D

    Just look it up. That's what the internet is there for.
     
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  3. Toldd
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    Toldd New Member

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    I'd say "Obtain" is something you obtain yourself, Attain is something that is given to you. Acquire is the "bi" of them both as it can be used in either
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    to me:
    Attain = reach
    Obtain = get
    Derive = come from
    Acquire = come by/get

    ...why don't you study their respective dictionary definitions?... that should do the trick...

    to me:
    Simply = only/just
    Merely = ditto above
    Solely = only [as in 'definitely no other']

    not really... it actually means 'arrange or manipulate cleverly, by maneuvering... a more complicated action than merely 'setting up'... and is seldom used in re music, which can be confusing...

    hope this helps... hugs, m
     
  5. Finhorn
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    Finhorn Senior Member

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    I recommend the internet and getting a good dictionary. Dictionary for definitions, internet for seeing how people have used it in real sentences. But I like this kind of thing so here goes.

    Top of my head you say...Well orchestrating is the process of creating or carrying out a plan. - "Big Louis orchestrated the hit on the senator, but who's orchestrating the attempt for the governor?" (Louis planned and killed the senator now we need to know who's planning (though not necessarily doing) to kill the governor)

    Attain - To have something intangible like position or an award given to you
    Obtain - To personally get something physical like a can of pop
    Derive - To take an idea apart into it's base elements to figure it out. Someone my derive a conclusion
    Acquire - To get something. You may have done it yourself or it may have been given to you. When my parents died I acquired a small fortune from their will. With it I acquired several parcels of land. (The first one is a passive receiving, the second is active) - Yeah I really need a better definition.

    Simply - Having the property of something with little effort or pomp. Her dress is simply elegant yet she looks simply ugly.
    Merely - I'm less sure here than with acquire. 1. plane or average. That is no mere clock. 2. Used sarcastically to denote that an assumption of somethings plainness is wrong - It is merely a 17th century hand-made Coo Coo Clock.
    Solely - I looked this one up when I couldn't come up with a sentence. In my own words: Without help, singular -- I am solely responsible for breaking the clock.
     
  6. MatrixGravity
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    MatrixGravity Senior Member

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    Thanks for the help guys. It cleared things up a bit. But I'm guessing I didn't use "Orchestrate" properly? or out of context?
     
  7. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    I wouldn't say that you used "orchestrate" incorrectly, but you used it in a situation where the extra nuances of the word aren't needed, and therefore the use of the word feels a little overdone. In your sentence, I would just say "We are arranging..." or "We are planning..."

    "Orchestrate" implies extra complexity, or slyness, or deception, or manipulation. So you might say:

    Jane is setting up a concert, and Joe is doing his best to orchestrate a disturbance in the audience that will ruin the whole event.

    ChickenFreak
     
  8. MatrixGravity
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    MatrixGravity Senior Member

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    Ahh right so an orchestration would be in a deceptive manner to disturb something or disrupt it.
    Could you possibly give me a few more sentences with the word in it? Thanks!! :)
     
  9. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, the disruption and deception isn't mandatory. I'd say that complexity is the key. The complexity may be plain old complexity, or it may be the complexity involved in disruption and deception or some other context.

    So, used in a more positive way:

    Judy managed to orchestrate an amazing sequence of bloom in her garden.

    or

    Jane said, "I serve dinner; my mother orchestrates it. Jut as the last guest is swallowing the last hot hors d'oeuvre, the soup comes out of the kitchen. There isn't a moment's delay."

    Less positive:

    Fred said, "And my mother and your mother-in-law just _happened_ to be in the same restaurant at the same time? Sorry, no, I don't believe in coincidences; how did you manage to orchestrate this?"

    ChickenFreak
     
  10. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    In addition to the above, there are some collocations (word associations) which call for one word over another.

    E.g. She strove to attain perfection (not 'obtain' perfection)
    The word 'love' in tennis scoring derives from a French expression. (you'd have to make it passive if you used another word like 'obtain')
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    just google the word and you'll get millions!
     
  12. kenji22
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    kenji22 New Member

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    Ill write a sentence with each word in it. maybe it will give you some clarity.

    The man attained great wisdom.
    The man obtained his legal documents.
    The word coming derives itself from its root word come.
    The boy acquired an ancient artifact.

    derive isn't really with the other three. in calculus a "Derivative" which derive is the root of, is a term used to find what one might call the origin of a function.

    The task was simple, easy to complete.
    The task merely took one person to complete.
    The task was completed solely by just one person.

    orchestrating
    arranging
    setting up
    preparing
    planning.
    ect. hope it helped!
     
  13. Infinitytruth
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    Infinitytruth Senior Member

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    Attain - Gained skill.

    Obtain - Gained material.

    Derive - To take from something and make into something else.

    Aquire -To gain.

    Something like that. Its just my wacky guess though so I could be wrong.

    Simply - Simple. No simpler then that.

    Merely - I use this word A LOT. I do not merely use it I use it A LOT. Merely means to make light of. Which I do not merely do with this word.

    Soley - Focused. One purpose. Again kind of my wacky guesses so I'll soon see if I'm right! :D
     

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