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Can I use the word "diffuse"? Options
robjen
Posted: Friday, June 23, 2017 11:15:44 PM
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I am going to make up an example.

(ex) The fake news about a royal visit quickly spreads in the city.

Can I use the verb diffuses instead of spreads? Thanks.
Carolina Dias
Posted: Friday, June 23, 2017 11:45:54 PM

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Location: Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil
Yes, you can! Just look at the examples and explanations for diffuse here.
leonAzul
Posted: Saturday, June 24, 2017 1:12:08 AM

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robjen wrote:
I am going to make up an example.

(ex) The fake news about a royal visit quickly spreads in the city.

Can I use the verb diffuses instead of spreads? Thanks.


That is a good use of "to diffuse," but it is a little weak.

When something diffuses it weakens as it spreads. When a rumor spreads it tends to strengthen. If you want to say that as more people hear the fake news it receives more criticism and less credence, then "diffuse" is the word you are looking for. Otherwise, "spreads" is the better word, or "gains credence".




"Make it go away, Mrs Whatsit," he whispered. "Make it go away. It's evil."
palapaguy
Posted: Sunday, June 25, 2017 12:36:01 AM

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"When something diffuses it weakens as it spreads. When a rumor spreads it tends to strengthen. If you want to say that as more people hear the fake news it receives more criticism and less credence, then "diffuse" is the word you are looking for. Otherwise, "spreads" is the better word, or "gains credence".

Excellent answer!
thar
Posted: Monday, June 26, 2017 3:38:15 AM

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Joined: 7/8/2010
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Also, you have to diffuse through something. Or throughout something. Or 'into' something else. Not 'in' something. It is a dynamic verb, not a static one.

Although that would apply to 'spreads', too.
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