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amend vs emend Options
Koh Elaine
Posted: Tuesday, October 23, 2018 8:47:05 AM
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What is the difference between "amend" and "emend"?

Thanks.
FounDit
Posted: Tuesday, October 23, 2018 10:55:14 AM

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Koh Elaine wrote:
What is the difference between "amend" and "emend"?

Thanks.


I'm not aware of any difference. I think both come from the same root and simply mean "to correct" or "to improve". I think it's more a matter of which one is in common use the most, which I think is "amend". I seem to recall seeing "emend" used more in legal documents, but can't tell you why this would be so.


We should look to the past to learn from it, not destroy our future because of it — FounDit
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Tuesday, October 23, 2018 11:47:50 AM

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There seems to be a limitation on "emend" - that it only relates to the written word.

You can amend your actions, and do something different - but you can't emend your actions.
The definitions all specify "journalism and editing" or "editing and law" etc.

However, even when it's the written word, there is a difference, it seems.

Quote:
synonym study: amend, emend both mean to alter, improve, or correct something written.
amend is the general term, used of any such correction or improvement in details; it may refer to adding, taking away, or changing a character, word, or phrase: to amend spelling and punctuation in a report; to amend a contract.
emend applies specifically to the critical alteration of a text in the process of editing or preparing it for publication; it implies improvement in the direction of greater accuracy: The scholar emended the text by restoring the original reading.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary

"Amend" is much more common because "emend" rarely applies in real life.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
NKM
Posted: Tuesday, October 23, 2018 7:35:45 PM

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More generally, it seems to me that "ememd" usually implies correction, while "amend" is merely to change.

Romany
Posted: Wednesday, October 24, 2018 5:00:07 PM
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I've often wondered if 'em' and 'mend' provide the evolution of the journalistic 'emend'?

As you know, an 'em' is a unit of measurement, the size of a standard space/letter. So perhaps if the printer had to reset (amend) only one letter it was an 'em mend'? As opposed to having to amend whole lines or chunks of text? And it eventually elided into one word because of the two 'm's (eM Mend)

Or am I squeezing too much out of it? Anyway, I know which is which because of the 'em'.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, October 26, 2018 8:36:43 AM

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Maybe squeezing a bit too much . . . Whistle



Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
NKM
Posted: Friday, October 26, 2018 11:26:42 AM

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Maybe squeezing too much; definitely a stretch!

ozok
Posted: Saturday, October 27, 2018 4:40:00 AM
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Quote:


emend (v.)
"remove faults from, alter for the better," c. 1400, from Latin emendare "to free from fault, correct, improve, revise," from assimilated form of ex "out" (see ex-) + mendum (nominative menda) "fault, blemish" (see amend).



just sayin'
Romany
Posted: Sunday, October 28, 2018 6:40:41 AM
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NK and Drago. Ah well, gave it the old college try.

At least it works for me!
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