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I've just learning about "Words Easily Confused" and Eject, Launch and probably "sling" have been driving me crazy. I noticed that these three words both mean "Throw out by force", but the kind of force (mechanism), or the situation, or if this meaning applies to someone or to something are not clear for me. For example: Their plan to launch/eject/sling the shuttle into space had a problem and the pilot had to eject/launch/sling from the aircraft launching/ejecting/slinging a light emergency sign at the same time.

What is the correct use of these words according to the situation?

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    Did the dictionaries you checked give any example sentences for these two? Spaceships are launched; cassette tapes and rowdy drinkers are ejected. – Mitch Jan 22 at 21:00
  • I'm flagging this as off-topic ("no research / ELL"). Yerko, our Help Centre says "Be sure to mention the research you've done and what you're still hoping to learn!" For further guidance, see How to Ask and take the EL&U Tour :-) – Chappo Says Reinstate Monica Jan 22 at 21:13
  • Do you have a particular example phrase in mind? – Darth Pseudonym Jan 22 at 21:50
  • Sorry about the confusion. I've just learning about "Words Easily Confused" and Eject, Launch and probably "sling" have been driving crazy. I noticed that these three words both mean "Throw out by force", but the kind of force (mechanism), or the situation, or if this meaning applies to someone or to something are not clear for me. For example: Their plan to launch/eject/sling the shuttle into space had a problem and the pilot had to eject/launch/sling from the aircraft launching/ejecting/slinging a light emergency sign at the same time. I'll follow your advice @Chappo. Thanks! – Yerko Navarro Flores Jan 22 at 22:30
  • look up each word in Oxford dictionary (here is the link for launch to get you started). Read all the example sentences. – green_ideas Jan 23 at 3:21
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Launch implies a planned action that starts a process; eject usually ends a process unceremoniously, unless you're talking about ejecting a recording from its playback device (tapes, DVDs, etc.), which has less of the 'unceremonious' implication but still means you're done with it.

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’A sling’ is a catapult-like device used for throwing projectiles. Simply, a circular piece of cloth that can be used to throw rocks.

Example:

  • ‘I used a sling-shot to throw the rock into the air, and killed a bird’.

So ‘to sling’ implies - to throw something in a wide and circular arc - the kind of trajectory you’d get if you picked up a stone in a hoop of cloth and used the cloth to fling the stone into the air. The sling extends the length of your arm, and works as a lever to make your circular throw (circular of course, because your arm is attached at your shoulder) more powerful and over a longer distance.

Hence ‘to sling’ something out, or ‘sling it away’ usually means ‘to throw with force’. To ‘sling out’ implies ‘to throw away’ (rubbish).

Note: Another word for sling, or sling shot, is catapult. A slightly different but related device to ‘a sling’ - it can also be used as a similar-meaning verb ie ‘to catapult’ - ‘to throw with force’.

Eject’ means ‘to exit something from where it is now’.

Examples:

  • ‘the man was ejected from the nightclub by guards’.

  • ‘The CD was ejected from the player’.

Launch’ means ‘to deliberately push forward and let go of’ - to push something up into the air’ (or, into water etc).

Examples:

  • ‘The USA launched a new space shuttle into the air’.

  • ‘The sailboat was launched at the jetty’.

  • ‘The PR girl launched the new product online’ (she ‘pushed it forward’ - towards its audience).

  • ‘The rock star launched himself into the audience, caught by the many hands of his fans’. (He ‘launched himself’ - into the audience).

Looking at the etymology will often give a truer sense of the word than online opinion - as the etymology encapsulates the original intention behind the word:

Etymology launched: ‘To hurl a missile, discharge with force’

https://www.google.com.sg/search?q=etymology+launched&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-sg&client=safari

Etymology ejected: You’ll clearly see it means ‘to throw - out’

https://www.google.com.sg/search?q=etymology+ejected&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-sg&client=safari

Etymology sling:

You’ll see it’s original meaning is ‘Noose or snare’ - that’s another traditional use for the same ‘circular piece of fabric’ or ‘sling’ - a sling (or ‘noose’) was used for catching animals as well as for throwing stones. The same circular shaped piece of fabric also supports a broken arm and is still called ‘a sling’.

https://www.google.com.sg/search?q=sling+etymology&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-sg&client=safari

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