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What's the difference between the words 'normality' and 'normalcy'?

(17 Posts)
kelda Mon 12-May-14 16:20:19

I've only heard of the word 'normalcy' recently. Is it American?

MirandaGoshawk Mon 12-May-14 17:34:50

Yep. Therefore horrid and to be avoided at all costs grin.

NutellaLawson Mon 12-May-14 18:05:36

it is an americanism. I think the distinction in meaning subtle.

normality is what is normal in an objective sense. normal that everyone would agree on.

normalcy is more a subjective sense of what is normal. A more personal normal for that individual.

I went travelling for almost two years, trekking with a tent and a petrol stove. Two years, so that was my normal. so after a night in a motel (rare) I was glad to be back in my tent for that sense of normalcy. But cooking dinner on a petrol stove outside a lightweight tent is hardly 'normality'.

At least I think that's the distinction.

kelda Mon 12-May-14 18:33:10

Thank you both.

CatWithKittens Tue 13-May-14 10:34:40

I'm with MirandaGoshawk on this - "normailty" is a word, "normalcy" is an distortion of the language.

CatWithKittens Tue 13-May-14 10:35:14

sorry - a distortion. I need typing lessons.

NutellaLawson Tue 13-May-14 16:58:38

cat a distortion of normal typing, even.

I do loathe normalcy, as well as acclimate and burglarize. I accept that Americans are perfectly entitled to modify and adapt their native language as they wish but some things do just sound too 'almost right' that they make me cringe a little.

MaidOfStars Tue 13-May-14 18:18:03

Acclimate is a perfectly standard word in biology.

CorusKate Tue 13-May-14 18:20:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CorusKate Tue 13-May-14 18:23:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Minty82 Tue 13-May-14 18:23:55

Normalcy is American, but I think it's one of those American words that was in use here in when America was being founded but has since fallen out of use in British English. Like 'garbage', which we think of as an American neologism but which actually appears in Shakespeare. So it's actually us evolving the language as much as them...

Momonga Tue 13-May-14 18:55:00

I live in the US (I'm not American!) and quite like it. I use normality tbh, but loads of words mean the same thing and it sounds a bit more conversational, perhaps.

Momonga Tue 13-May-14 18:55:58

Burglarize sounds really odd, even now. Acclimate sounds completely fine to me, though?

SconeRhymesWithGone Wed 14-May-14 02:02:01

I am American. It was popularized by Republicans in a presidential campaign many years ago and made its way into common usage. I am a Democrat so I never use it. smile

SconeRhymesWithGone Wed 14-May-14 02:11:02

I was referring to normalcy, not burglarize. It is associated with Warren G. Harding who promised a "return to normalcy." He did not invent the word, but I don't think it goes back to colonial times, so it is not like "gotten" or "fall" which are older British words we kept, but that were abandoned by British speakers.

Thumbwitch Wed 14-May-14 02:17:26

"Normalcy" really sets my teeth on edge more than almost any other Americanism (that and "I could care less", which is still Just Plain Wrong)

MaidOfStars Wed 14-May-14 08:16:26

I like 'I could care less'. It's a little more interesting than the more obvious alternative.

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