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I constantly hear people use the word "resiliency" (especially sports broadcasters and the like). I've always used "resilience" instead. Is there a preferred word to use in any given situation?

As far as I can gather they are exact synonyms.

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The OED has 190 word-pairs of the same form as resilience/resiliency. Some of these sound weird, but many are normal. abstinence/abstinency, complacence/complacency, emergence/emergency, expedience/expediency, flatulence/flatulency, impotence/impotency, potence/potency, prurience/pruriency, refulgence/refulgency, sufficience/sufficiency, transcendence/transcendency, truculence/truculency, virulence/virulency, and many more. –  tchrist Jan 8 '13 at 11:34
    
@tchrist That's very interesting. Of those I almost always go for the former, with the exception of potency. complacence/complacency is an interesting pair because I actually use both of those words interchangeably. –  Evan Jan 8 '13 at 23:12
    
I have never heard emergency used to mean emergence. –  John Y May 29 '13 at 7:16
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1 Answer

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Resiliency is just a variant of resilience. Which one is used is a matter of style and personal preference. I would always use resilience because it's one syllable shorter than resiliency. Others may have different opinions. It doesn't matter because they are, as you suggest, exact synonyms, except for the pretentiousness of the longer word: resiliency. All verbosity is pretentious.

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Don't you mean sesqipedalianism? ;-) –  Jim Jan 8 '13 at 5:59
    
@Jim: It's sesquipedalianism too, but this is one of those cases in which I think a judgmental rather than a merely descriptive term is appropriate. –  user21497 Jan 8 '13 at 6:03
    
No, I meant you to say all sesquipedalianism is pretentious ;-) –  Jim Jan 8 '13 at 6:05
    
@Jim: That's too restrictive. Sesquipedalianism is just one form of verbosity. Perhaps, though, I'm stretching the definition of verbosity in this case. But if only speech is analyzed, then there is only a single stream of sound and verbosity is measured by length of time and not necessarily number of words. We do not disagree. :-) –  user21497 Jan 8 '13 at 6:10
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Sometimes my sense of humor fails to kick in. <(B=O –  user21497 Jan 8 '13 at 6:16
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