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    Allen Farber's Avatar
    Allen Farber Posts: 191, Reputation: 1
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    #1

    Feb 2, 2017, 07:06 PM
    What does this mean?
    Now I was looking in this forum and saw someone asked what "In a broad sense" meant and I saw an answer that confused me. Now keep in mind, I'm not asking you to give me your own definition of "In a broad sense", but help on understanding the definition that's been given. This was the answer that was given:

    'Broadly speaking' can be used to mean 'speaking generally, without detail or unusual exceptions' - e.g. 'Broadly speaking, you're more likely to come across this kind of behaviour in the UK as opposed to Latvia'.

    'In a broad sense' is similar, but it applies more to the meaning of what you're saying than its specific facts - eg 'In a broad sense, this is English behaviour rather than Latvian'.

    'In a broad sense' means any terms you're using (eg in this case 'behaviour', 'English', and 'Latvian') need to be interpreted with the greatest possible latitude rather than in their most narrow, literal meaning



    So what does this person mean by "applies more to the meaning of what you're saying than its specific facts". What's the "Meaning" and "Specific Facts" of what you're saying? And how does the phrase apply itself to it?
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #2

    Feb 2, 2017, 07:21 PM
    Oh for pity's sake, I say they mean the same thing.

    I hope I'm not bashing any of our regulars still around, but the distinctions he or she made sound like hogwash to me.
    ebaines's Avatar
    ebaines Posts: 12,130, Reputation: 1307
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    #3

    Feb 24, 2017, 10:58 AM
    Looks like that answer was copied directly from this 2008 post on a different forum:

    https://forum.wordreference.com/thre...-sense.953244/

    That answer was provided by someone from the UK, so we Americans may have a different point of view. I agree with JoyP that there is little difference between the two phrases. But there may be nuances. I think "broadly speaking" is used to signal that the statement that follows is a generality that probably has exceptions. For example: "Broadly speaking it is warmer in Hawaii than in the Arctic." Generally this is true, but there are exceptions. (Side note - my brother was caught in a blizzard once while in Hawaii.) The phrase "in a broad sense" is used when you want to expand the definition of something, i.e. allow greater freedom of how something is defined, or draw an analogy. For example one might say "In a broad sense the Earth is a living organism." Now the Earth is definitely not a living organism, but this helps convey the fact that there are certain aspects of the Earth's ecology, geology. meteorology, etc that act in ways that are similar to how a living organism interacts with its environment. But you wouldn't say "Broadly speaking, the Earth is a living organism."
    joypulv's Avatar
    joypulv Posts: 21,593, Reputation: 2941
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    #4

    Feb 24, 2017, 03:33 PM
    Good nuance, ebaines!
    Allen Farber's Avatar
    Allen Farber Posts: 191, Reputation: 1
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    #5

    Feb 24, 2017, 06:36 PM
    Okay, and what does it mean when they say "it applies more to the meaning of what you're saying than its specific facts" what is the specific facts of what you're saying?
    ebaines's Avatar
    ebaines Posts: 12,130, Reputation: 1307
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    #6

    Feb 27, 2017, 06:47 AM
    The answer you quoted is not very clear, and his examples don't really help, so I'm really not sure what he means. Maybe you can go back to that other forum and ask him.

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