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Q: What, really, is the difference between "limpid" and "pellucid"? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: What, really, is the difference between "limpid" and "pellucid"?
Category: Reference, Education and News > Homework Help
Asked by: mikeginnyc-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 10 Jun 2006 20:02 PDT
Expires: 10 Jul 2006 20:02 PDT
Question ID: 737110
The two words are synonyms, and from the dictionary checking I've
done, they seem virtually interchangeable.  But ... what nuance of
difference between them would help the precise writer know when to use
one and when to use the other?
Subject: Re: What, really, is the difference between "limpid" and "pellucid"?
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 11 Jun 2006 08:20 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the key difference between
the terms is that limpid almost always applied to liquids, while
pellucid can find use more generally to refer to clarity of numerous
sorts, including clarity of thought, clarity of tone, etc.

A pool of water may be aptly described as pellucid, though one is
probably more likely to use the term limpid.

However, a well-formed logical argument would likely be described as
pellucid, to refer to the clarity of presentation, rather than limpid.

Neither term is used with great frequency is this regard, though:

"pellucid argument"  -- 6 hits

"limpid argument" -- 3 hits

Let me know if there's anything else I can do for you on this.


Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 14 Jul 2006 11:36 PDT

Thanks for the kind feedback.  Sorry about the notification.  There is
definitely some sort of glitch in the system, which is a shame, as it
makes communications rather clumsy.  Hope it clears up soon.

Thanks again,

mikeginnyc-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
I == never == received an email notification from Google that this
question had been answered ... and I was disappointed/thought it odd
that no one did.  I gave up on it ... but when I came back to ask a
NEW question, I saw that it had been.  My apologies to the researcher
who answered it long ago, but shame on Google for not TELLING me it
had been answered.

Subject: Re: What, really, is the difference between "limpid" and "pellucid"?
From: markvmd-ga on 10 Jun 2006 20:51 PDT
While they are essentially the same in definition, limpid has the
quality of being calm or serene. Pellucid is not given this added

Having said that, I believe the big difference is the "ear" of the
word. Limpid sounds soft, cuddly, squishy, pleasant, almost hypnotic.
Limp... id.


Pellucid starts hard-- P-- and begins to sound like "pollution." While
it does have "loose" in it, you can't really tell 'cuz you don't hear
it. You hear "lucid" and think of sanity hearings.

So on the one hand you've got a squishy word that's gentle and calm;
on the other is one that starts off spitting at you and ends up in
court explaining why exactly you had to nail those seven lying
muskrats to the fencepost to stop their derisive snickering at 3AM and
reclaim your vital humours they were siphoning off into a blue '47
Plymouth Special Deluxe.
Subject: Re: What, really, is the difference between "limpid" and "pellucid"?
From: timespacette-ga on 10 Jun 2006 21:35 PDT
*** this is priceless! ***
Subject: Re: What, really, is the difference between "limpid" and "pellucid"?
From: myoarin-ga on 11 Jun 2006 03:06 PDT
Yes, quite! :)

You might try searching with    define:limpid     define:pellucid

to see definitions of each word.

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