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15 votes
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"Geometric" or "Geometrical"?

The two adjectival forms: geometric, electric geometrical, electrical But the 2nd form is closer towards forming adverbs geometrically, electrically Some words skip the 1st form altogether, so ...
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14 votes
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"Magic" versus "magical"

I think with careful speakers/writers, explicitly structurally adjectival magical is usually reserved for metaphoric usages, whereas magic tends to be more literally to do with the "supernatural". So ...
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9 votes
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Adjective usage of 'mystic' vs 'mystical'

The SOED does not take those two adjectives as synonyms. (SOED) mystic 4. Of hidden meaning or nature; enigmatic, mysterious. 5. Inspiring an awed sense of mystery. (SOED) mystical 4. Of or ...
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7 votes

Is there a difference between "geographic" and "geographical"?

As explained in the following extract from the Grammarist the two terms have the same meaning and usage. Geographical is the original adjective, geographic is a later variant, probably from French ...
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  • 60.1k
5 votes

gynecological or gynecologic?

Merriam-Webster gives both gynecologic and gynecological as an adjective. Therefore, whether you use one or the other is at your discretion, but I would advise being consistent with your decision. ...
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5 votes

Adjective usage of 'mystic' vs 'mystical'

You could make the same points about "magic" and "magical" (Disneyworld includes the "Magic Kingdom," but until recently it featured an airport shuttle bus called "...
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  • 5,611
4 votes

Which term is better: "electric circuit" or "electrical circuit"?

Unlike the first answer, I disagree and feel that "electrical circuit" is correct. Electric does refer to things that run on electricity but circuits are not things that run on electricity like cars, ...
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3 votes
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Hyperbolic vs Hyperbolical

'Hyperbolic' is definitely correct for the maths, geometry, and science. The terms examples are: hyperbolic function hyperbolic trajectory hyperbolic equilibrium 'Hyperbolic' is also correct for ...
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  • 2,902
3 votes

What is the difference between "graphic" and "graphical" as adjectives?

As an adjective 'graphic' refers more directly to the actual process of drawing, or the discipline that has evolved from what used to involve training one how to draw. But 'graphical' refers less ...
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3 votes
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electrical equipment vs electric car

The US legal definitions website defines electrical equipment as any apparatus, device, integral component, or integral part used in an activity which is electrically, electronically, mechanically,...
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  • 16.3k
2 votes

Usage of "symmetrical" and "symmetric"

Perhaps when speaking about one item as a whole, it is "symmetrical" (meaning that both individual sides are similar to one another); however, when speaking of both parts individually, they are "...
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  • 41
2 votes

Usage of "symmetrical" and "symmetric"

I suggest that items may be symmetric in appearance; therefore, they are symmetrical. Ex: My hands are symmetric in appearance; therefore, they are symmetrical.
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  • 41
2 votes

"Magic" versus "magical"

There is a slight difference between magic and magical. magic (adjective) ~ 1. pertaining to magic (n.); used in magic (n.); having the power of magic (n.); as, "a magic wand" and 2. producing ...
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  • 5,560
2 votes

What is the difference between "graphic" and "graphical" as adjectives?

There is a very technical meaning which might illustrate one of the norms that Wilson mentioned. In mathematics, a graph is a representation of objects where some pairs of objects are connected by ...
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  • 51
2 votes

Which term is better: "electric circuit" or "electrical circuit"?

Both of them are correct, but there is a subtle difference there. Electric refers to something that runs on electricity; for example, an electric car, electric kettle, electric circuit. Electrical ...
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  • 169
2 votes

Dragons are "fantastic" creatures or "fantastical" creatures?

I personally find two distinct senses for each word. If we have to pick one or the other, the one I would choose would fit in as many different ways as possible. fantastic great; superlative. ...
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2 votes
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"metaphoric" versus "metaphorical"

There is no difference between metaphoric and metaphorical, but you are right, metaphorical is more commonly used. This ngram graphs the use of metaphoric and metaphorical in English-language books ...
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2 votes
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Fantastic and fantastical

Dictionary.com is oversimplifying in this case, but only by a little. The OED draws a clear distinction between the two words, despite many senses that directly overlap. All of the non-obsolete ...
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1 vote
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logic/logical, arithmetic/arithmetical operators

It's arithmetic operators and logical operators. That's the usage in Bjarne Stroustrup's The C++ Programming Language. Among other things, Stroustrup was recently awarded the Charles Stark Draper ...
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1 vote
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Are words like "heroical" and "empirical" morphologically redundant?

They're not redundant; just a matter of choice… I’ve read endless volumes of myths and legends of Egypt, Greece and Rome, Uruk, various parts of Africa and US America, England, Scotland and Ireland ...
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1 vote

"symmetrical to" or "symmetric to"

A Google Ngram chart of "is symmetric to" (blue line) vs. "is symmetrical to" (red line) vs. "is symmetric with (green line) vs. "is symmetrical with" (yellow line) for the period 1800–2005, with ...
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  • 151k
1 vote

Difference between 'acoustic' and 'acoustical'

Unfortunately, the predominant use in a particular location wins this argument as there is no logical reason for using one form over the other. For instance, we say electric guitar but electrical ...
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1 vote
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Difference between 'acoustic' and 'acoustical'

The Acousical Society of America pondered this question for years before including definitions and usage rules in a 1955 update to their glossary of acoustical terms. A report of the discussion is ...
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  • 14.3k
1 vote

Difference between 'acoustic' and 'acoustical'

The only material differences that I can see are that "acoustic" can be used as a noun as well as an adjective, whereas "acoustical" is only adjectival. The usage of "acoustical" is also more common ...
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  • 141
1 vote

What is the difference between -ic and -al?

The OED notes that [o]ften ... the form in ic is restricted to the sense of 'of' or 'of the nature of' the subject in question, while that in -ical has wider or more transferred senses ...
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  • 43.9k
1 vote

The use of the suffix -al in adjectives

These sites might help: http://grammarist.com/usage/historic-historical/ http://grammarist.com/spelling/metaphoric-metaphorical/ Some of these types of pairs undergo differentiation whereby they ...
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  • 17.7k
1 vote
Accepted

Is the following sentence odd? "I find them comic"

As both your research and Edwin Ashworth have pointed out, there is no reason to reject the word comic as incorrect. Ms. Doughty has significant semantic support for her choice, even if it seems like ...
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  • 30.4k
1 vote

"Magic" versus "magical"

A number of usage commentators have visited the questions of whether and to what extent magic and magical differ as adjectives. The earliest reference work I have found that addresses these questions ...
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