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Can excerpt and excerption replace each other in a particular sentence without changing its meaning? For example, given these two sentences:

  1. He presented excerpts from William James' philosophical writings.
  2. He presented excerptions from William James' philosophical writings.

Do both these nouns give the same meaning or change the sense in any way? Or is either of these two sentences wrong?

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Don't know if it's wrong, but the second would be very uncommon and a lot of people would probably think you were mixing up "excerpts" and "exceptions" –  Kevin May 9 '12 at 14:07

2 Answers 2

According to the OED, excerption refers to the act of taking an excerpt, so it's kind of a "meta" word. Sentence 2 above would be strange in that context. The use of excerption to mean an extract or an excerpt is archaic.

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They do not seem to be same but both are nouns. Excerpt means a shorter text selected from a larger text. Excerption means the act of taking an excerpt.

However,

http://www.audioenglish.net/dictionary/excerpt.htm and

http://www.audioenglish.net/dictionary/excerption.htm

suggest that both may mean the same but excerption is very rarely used. It seems you picked your examples from here.

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