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My question here is about perception. English has a great and wonderful variety in its vocabulary, and many concepts can be associated with different words, although with slightly different meanings maybe. And some of these words are directly derived from Latin. I am asking: in the case of a concept which has both a pure-English word and a Latin-derived one (or from one of its children, the Romance languages), would a native speaker use each of them interchangeably or would he consider the usage of the latter to be too formal/old-fashioned for a speaking interaction?

I bet the answer is the second one, in which case I ask whether hearing the latinism from someone may be perceived as strange/funny.

Some examples of this are

wish/desiderate (desire is already well English-suited)

join/unite (in the sense of to link)

reply/response (in the sense of answer)

By the way, I'm not referring to those Latin nouns/phrases that are commonly used in certain contexts, like the legal one.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by tchrist, RegDwigнt Jul 17 '13 at 20:24

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

This, too, is too broad and subjective in its current form. There are previous questions on the subject, too, such as this one or this; just search the site. (The very broad question of whether a native speaker would use a word of Latin origin completely interchangeably with one of Germanic origin can only possibly have the very broad answer: no. You will be hard pressed to find any two words that can be used completely interchangeably, and that is true of any language, not just English.) – RegDwigнt Jul 17 '13 at 20:31
Thank you. And sorry, I didn't notice those questions. You can close it since it makes no sense, no problem. – martina Jul 17 '13 at 20:46
Good question. However, you already noted many English words are derived from Latin, some in toto. So what is a 'Latinism' would be open to interpretation (and subject to context and time). As for which may be considered formal or 'arty,' we could perhaps talk on meta. Remember, usage dictates acceptability. – Kris Jul 18 '13 at 6:01
I think this is a good question and wish it were still opened. However, the truth is that it depends on the root. Sometimes the word with the latin root is more commonly used, sometimes equally commonly used, and sometimes it strikes us as pretentious. – hunter Dec 18 '13 at 12:35

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