The 12th Must Read Dokkai Review (読解特急4 ビジネス文書編)

Let's celebrate an opportunity to read and learn from the latest version of this highly educative as well as readable and interesting book review series; the 12th Dokkai review

The other day some English learner and I talked about the DT reviewer. What I told her was that it would definitely be his that I'd choose were I forced to pick up the only one blog to read for the rest of my English learning life. She rolled her eyes upon hearing my bold statement.

Let me first cite the following remark on "diverse vs. different" in the review:
" [NOTE: It might be possible to put it this way; "English learners in Japan are diverse" is internal, whereas "English learners in Japan are different" is external, though there must be a lot of 'delving-into, deliberating-over and expounding-on' to be done before fully verifying it.]" - DOKKAI 4 p.216 読解特急4ビジネス文書編 — DT4

Why not check dictionary definitions on these two words to begin with?

diverse (a): very different from each other and of various kinds
Example a: people from diverse cultures
Example b: My interests are very diverse.

different (a): 1) not the same as somebody/something; not like somebody/something else 2) separate and individual 3) unusual
Example c: People often give very different accounts of the same event.
Example d: They are sold in many different colours.

Reference: Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

Now do you agree or disagree with the statement by the reviewer that diverse is internal while different is external? I sort of agree with his perspective in that "diverse" usually modifies a group of something or somebody whereas "different" always connotes something to compare besides the subject mentioned. See Example b sentence. Do you think that you can replace diverse with different, as "My interests are different."? Well, you can do so with a certain context that implies from what my interests are different, as "My interests are different (from yours/the ones people around my age would have/what you would expect, etc...)"

When you use an adjective "different" for a noun, you'd always have something else in mind to compare and contrast the noun to be modified. When you use an adjective "diverse" on the other hand, it's very likely for you to think of one whole thing, group, or category. So, it seems quite logical to say that diverse as in "English learners in Japan are diverse." sounds internal, and differentt as in "English learners in Japan are different (from the ones in other countries)." sounds external.




English learner


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