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Right off the bat I will state that I'm neither a linguist nor an etymologist, but I am a serious English language enthusiast.

On to my question: I have a need to convey that a specific group of people share something (e.g. their wisdom, knowledge, wealth, etc.) with other people that are not necessarily part of said group.

If I said, for example:

Philosophers can share their wisdom with each other.

I would imply that sharing should only take place within members of the Philosophers group.

Since I need to convey that such sharing should also take place with members outside the Philosophers group my thinking is to change the above sentence to:

Philosophers can share their wisdom with others.

I am concerned, however, that this may create the impression that wisdom can be shared only outside of the Philosophers group and not between their members, which is not my intention.

Is my concern valid?

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  • Is my concern valid? Only in the far reaches of pedantry and the absence of context. I assume that you are not simply testing an isolated sentence, and it would help if you included context. That said, "Others" is capable of being construed as "anyone in the world", and philosophers will tell you that the set of philosophers is within that set. I understand that "others" can also have the meaning "other philosophers", but the inclusion of context will make this clear. The alternative is to omit "with others" as this is the phrase that is causing the trouble.
    – Greybeard
    Jun 10, 2020 at 10:49
  • @Greybeard that's good enough for me. If you add your comments as reply I will give you credit for it.
    – Vance
    Jun 10, 2020 at 10:54

1 Answer 1

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From the comment above:

Is my concern valid?

Only in the far reaches of pedantry and the absence of context. I assume that you are not simply testing an isolated sentence, and it would help if you included context.

That said, "Others" is capable of being construed as "anyone in the world", and philosophers will tell you that the set of philosophers is within that set.

I understand that "others" can also have the meaning "other philosophers", but the inclusion of context will make this clear.

The alternative is to omit "with others" as this is the phrase that is causing the trouble.

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