Why do we have synonyms at all? Why don't we just have one word for each definition?
- LiliLv 76 months ago
To enrich our language and render it more flexible, colorful, and precise.
The English language is one of the richest, deepest, on the planet. We should be grateful that it is, because it allows us to be so expressive.
- sparrowLv 76 months ago
Because synonyms can have subtle differences.
- TommymcLv 76 months ago
Sometimes, there are subtle differences in the precise meaning of two synonyms, but many times they are just an artifact of our evolving language. The English language is in a constant state of evolution. You may not notice it on a day-to-day basis, but we certainly don't speak the same English today that Shakespeare used. Populations move around and bring their language with them. For instance, the British Empire colonized many distant lands and brought back many of their words.
We also make up our own words for things that already have a name. Look at all the different words we use for marijuana to disguise what we're talking about. The same is true of sex and body parts. People don't feel comfortable saying "penis", so if it comes up in polite conversation, they'll use something like willy, or peter. Some of these words stick, and then you have multiple words meaning the same thing. Fortunately, the English don't have language police to enforce the words we choose to use.
- gLv 76 months ago
"Why don't we just have one word for each definition?"
We do! And that word is also referred to as a synonym. Tracking?
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- ZirpLv 76 months ago
Because in many cases, different people in different places invent different words for the same thing
- Karen LLv 76 months ago
Because each word has nuances.
- Anonymous6 months ago
Because English is a mix of loads of different languages squashed together over hundreds and hundreds of years.
It's all higgledy-piggledy.
- 6 months ago
The more words have their synonyms,the more rich the language becomes.
- 6 months ago
English words come from various sources. The language gradually came together as local dialects merged, borrowing words from each other. To describe a particular concept, we may have a large number of words taken from different languages, each with a subtly different meaning. So we have flower (from French), bloom (from German) blossom (from Danish), fleur (still is French) and flora (Latin). English has more words than any other language - which is a bonus for dictionary publishers.
- The Football GodLv 76 months ago
I don't no. How about one spelling? Yes, are know?