From my workbook:

If you think that this is the most effective means of conveying our brand name ...

Does using way instead of means make sense? Also what is the difference between those two words and why means is preferred in that sentence?

  • This is a great question for ELL
    – Mitch
    Jan 29, 2013 at 2:45
  • 4
    @Mitch ¡ʞᴉɐןɹəɯɯᴉʍp ןnoɟ ʻʎɐʍ ƃuoɹʍ əɥʇ pəʇuᴉod əɹɐ \səɥsɐןs\ ɹno⅄
    – tchrist
    Jan 29, 2013 at 2:57
  • 1
    @tchrist I'm leaving your comment even though I've fixed the comment it refers to.
    – nohat
    Jan 29, 2013 at 7:44

1 Answer 1


If you think that this is the most effective means of

Using an agent to perform: whatever this refers to is used as an agent or a tool for conveying our brand name .... means: An action or system by which a result is brought about. [Google]

If you think that this is the most effective way of conveying our brand name ...

Following a method, a style, an option, or such, in doing something. Doing like this is most effective in conveying our brand name .... A method, style, or manner of doing something: "two ways of approaching the problem". [Google]

However, note that the words have a broad range of meanings, are interchangeable and almost synonymous in some contexts, but not in others.

  • The Ways and Means Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives is responsible for all bills on taxation and revenue: how the government will raise the revenue to pay for its programs. Wikipedia says other legislatures including the British Parliament used the same nomenclature. Jan 29, 2013 at 9:09
  • @AndrewLazarus "Ways and means" is a set phrase used widely across English speaking countries. No need to consult Wiki. Shows the words are not exactly synonymous and have distinct meanings.
    – Kris
    Jan 29, 2013 at 9:20

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