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I am trying to write an essay on life based view points on comparing A vs B group life views. Unfortunately in my case the word for the two opposing view points is the exact same word "experience"

From Merriam-Webster:

1st meaning

a : practical knowledge, skill, or practice derived from direct observation of or participation in events or in a particular activity

b : the length of such participation has 10 years' experience in the job

2nd meaning

something personally encountered, undergone, or lived through

In English the one meaning is long term and about learning a skill i.e. John has 10 years working experience as a programmer

However the other definition is short term based and has nothing to do with learning a skill but rather about just encountering or interacting with it. Sally wanted to experience visiting the beach.

So for the word you can have the same situation of Sally has experience playing the violin meaning she is proficient in it vs Sally wanted to experience playing the violin meaning she just wanted to experience how it sounded like and isn't proficient.

I am writing an essay on comparing people who view life as gaining experience (long term) thinking vs people just want to experience life through a set of experiences (short term no preparation impulsive thinking). I am constantly going to refer to each group in the essay so the description of each group has to be short so I can't just call the two groups he "live life as a set of experiences" and "live life to gain experience" group every time

Title of essay:

Experiences-based living vs experience-based living

The problem with living an experiences-based life is that you live in the short term and don't prepare for the long term. The problem with an experience-based living is that you miss out on the little joys and realize too late you are old and missed out on having fun.

John is married to Sally. John wants to focus on his job and gain experience so he can in future have the skills to start his own company. Sally thinks differently and want to experience the joys of life and go out every day of the week so she and John can enjoy life while they are young. John has a _____ life view. Sally has a ____ life view.

I refer to each group many time since its an essay and I use the two groups as "experiences-based" vs "experience-based" that the reader will confuse them. I looked up synonyms but they don't have the same meaning I need to convey. Only "experience based life" conveys what I want to say, just a pity that the word has two meanings that are so different and I want to use both

  • I’ve edited your reference because it looked like a broken link, feel free to roll it back. I’m not sure where you want to add The Ant and the Grasshopper link (but I think it’s a nice touch). – Pam Nov 27 '18 at 20:22
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    Most people will not have trouble distinguishing between the multiple meanings of a word in context. Consider: "He will return to to find his tax returns greater than expected." That sentence will trouble no one beyond a basic level of intelligence. – Robusto Nov 27 '18 at 20:44
  • Contrary to what you say, the two meanings are very closely related. – Hot Licks Apr 27 at 20:44
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To avoid any confusion, I would suggest an alternate word for each, one of which is pointed to by the description you actually give:

John is married to Sally. John wants to focus on his job and gain experience so he can in future have the skills to start his own company. Sally thinks differently and want to experience the joys of life and go out every day of the week so she and John can enjoy life while they are young. John has a skill-based life view. Sally has a event-based life view.

The use of skill-based should be self-explanatory.

As for event-based, I simply used the definition provided by Merriam-Webster for a related sense of experience:

4 a : the conscious events that make up an individual life
4 b : the events that make up the conscious past of a community or nation or humankind generally

Although the word events is also used in the definition of the skill sense of experience, the focus there is on the knowledge gained rather than on the events themselves.

Or, if you want to keep experience but make the difference clear, you could use work experience and life experience.


This means you could say, for instance:

The problem with living an event-based life is that you live in the short term and don't prepare for the long term. The problem with skill-based living is that you miss out on the little joys and realize too late you are old and missed out on having fun.

Or:

The problem with prioritizing life experience is that you live in the short term and don't prepare for the long term. The problem with prioritizing work experience is that you miss out on the little joys and realize too late you are old and missed out on having fun.

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