Date: Wed, 10 Jul 1996 12:54:13 EDT

From: Undetermined origin c/o LISTSERV maintainer


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.


-- Jim

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.

Vicki Rosenzweig

vr%acmcr.uucp[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE] | rosenzweig[AT SYMBOL GOES HERE]

New York, NY