There was a sharp rise in prices-There was a distinctive rise in prices Is it correct?

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    Ouch! That knife is distinctive! – Hot Licks Dec 14 '14 at 15:33


Distinctive could potentially mean the price rise took any sort of recognized pattern (possibly indicative of some phenomena). Not just a sharp one. A scientist working on Ebola might look for distinctive rises in blood temperature but this does not imply they are large or sudden.

A possible alternative to "sharp" might be "sudden". Or the phrase "distinct rise" is quite common (meaning distinct to the values that were present before).

  • So are you saying 'distinct' and 'distinctive' mean different things? – WS2 Dec 14 '14 at 15:46
  • @ws2 yes "recognisably different in nature" vs "characteristic of one person or thing, and so serving to distinguish it from others." From Google definition. – Martin Smith Dec 14 '14 at 15:48
  • Compare 'There is a distinct difference between butter and margarine', with 'The difference between butter and margarine is distinctive'. They both mean same to me. – WS2 Dec 14 '14 at 16:04
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    They don't mean the same. The first means different. The second would need to be dfferent in a way indicative of something. Distinctive serves a classification/identification role not implied by distinct. – Martin Smith Dec 14 '14 at 16:07
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    @FumbleFingers Yes I think it has finally sunk in with me. Thanks to Martin too for his patience. – WS2 Dec 14 '14 at 17:09

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