Especially Special

Wordy WednesdayWords are amazing.  We string letters together to make words, and weave words to create the beautiful, funny and heart-stopping stories we all love.  So I’ve decided that every week I’ll document the new words I’ve discovered (or re-discovered) in the hopes of expanding my vocabulary.  Anyone is free to follow suit! Let’s learn new words!

I was reading this week, and I came across the word especial. It seems bizarre, but in my many years of reading I’ve never seen the word in that context. Especially, I have read, but especial?

So it begged the question: what is the difference between special and especial?

The answer: a very subtle difference.

Especial (adjective) – better or greater than usual

Special (adjective) – better, greater or otherwise different from what is usual

The only difference, as far as I could ascertain, is that especial implies that something inferior or lesser exists, while special is not necessarily a comparative word.

For example:

The celebrity, Gloria, was given especial attention at the event. She was given her own, special wine glass. Gloria loves wine, especially French champagne. The room was specially decorated with French decorations, for Gloria’s benefit.

It’s a subtle difference but I can see how the distinction can come in handy while writing. I’ll be paying more attention when I use either of these words.

What new words have you discovered this week?

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