The words aid, assist, help, and facilitate are all closely related. What do you believe the differences among them might be? My best attempt to make the differences explicit follows.
- Aid, in modern English, is more appropriate for non-human help
- Assist, would be help for something that someone could do themselves but because of the assistance is able to do that thing more efficiently, profitably, effectively, etc.
- Help, is the most generic term and can refer to any sort of support.
- Facilitate, is help that is necessary for a thing to be done or that improves the utility of that thing to such a degree that it would not be worth doing but for the facilitation. In as much as facilitates is a word that refers to help that is necessary for a thing to be done, the word differs from 'enabling' in that the facilitating thing is not the only thing that could facilitate the thing in question. Whereas, the thing in question could not happen without the things that enable it to happen. E.g. In the 17th century, lumberjacks enabled logging companies to fell trees and convert them to logs, while rivers facilitated the transport of the logs to their buyers. Without the lumberjacks, the trees could not have been felled, but its conceivable they could have been transported without the river, albeit much less efficiently.
What do you think are the differences among aid, assist, help, and facilitate?