Date: Wed, 10 Jul 1996 12:54:13 EDT
From: Undetermined origin c/o LISTSERV maintainer
owner-LISTSERV[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]UGA.CC.UGA.EDU
Subject: Re: "Wildly" vs. "Widely"
Jim Ague writes:
Today's newspaper had a caption on a photo saying that the "water pressure from
fire hydrants varies wildly." Unless the editor had some sort of pun intended,
I would have expected "widely" to be used.
To me, "varies wildly" implies that the variation isn't deliberate
or under human control, and probably that it's not predictable.
"Varies widely" would imply a more controlled or predictable process.
If the story (or caption) is trying to draw attention to a
possibly dangerous situation, "varies wildly" makes sense.
vr%acmcr.uucp[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]murphy.com | rosenzweig[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]acm.org
New York, NY