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"In any relationship, the essence of trust is not in its bind, but in its bond."

This idiom puzzles me because what is the difference between bind/bound and bond/bonded? When do I use bind, when do I use bond?

(Also, incidentally, who said this quote?)

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There are so many uses of this proverb that to identify its original source is probably impossible. –  Andrew Leach Sep 28 '12 at 7:44
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2 Answers

The way I understand this idiom is that the two nouns bind and bond are contrasted, not the two verbs bind and bond.

A bind in this sense is the object that ties things together. A bond is the result - that two things are tied together. So this idiom is saying that we don't end up trusting each other because of how we are tied together, or what brought us together; rather that we trust each other because of the bond that formed between us - the closeness that we have for one another because of being somehow tied together.

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"In any relationship, the essence of trust is not in its bind, but in its bond."

This is, frankly speaking, a rubbish aphorism thanks to its inscrutability. The two words are near synonyms.

The words bind and bond are being used here in the following senses.

Bind:

  • cause (people) to feel united:

    the comradeship that had bound such a disparate bunch of lads together 1

  • impose a legal or contractual obligation on:

    a party who signs a document will normally be bound by its terms

Bond:

a force or feeling that unites people; a shared emotion or interest:

there was a bond of understanding between them

In other words, bind is being used to imply a forced connection thanks to external factors. Bond on the other hand indicates a mutually shared relationship. To attempt a little pithiness of my own, a bind is made while a bond grows.


1 This example is probably a bit of a grey area. You can be bound together because you are comrades. Your shared experience as comrades can also create a bond between you.

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