Q&A: Adaptation or adaption? | Australian Writers’ Centre

Each week here at the Australian Writers’ Centre, we dissect and discuss, contort and rejoinder, ask and pant at the english lyric and all its rules, regulations and absurdity. It ’ s a celebration of language, masquerading as a passive-aggressive whinge about words and outlandishness. This week, we ‘re exploring “ adaptation vanadium adaptation ” …
Q: …
A : Oh hello there .
Q: …

A : Um, what ‘s going on ?
Q: …
A : ?
Q: I’m doing the mannequin challenge – can’t you tell?
A : It kind of loses something in text…
Q: Okay, true.
A : And is n’t person supposed to film you ?
Q: Ooooh, THAT would have made more sense. Anyway, before we get started, is it “mannequin” or “manikin”?
A : The foremost one – “ mannequin ” is the doll form that shops put clothes on – and the name used for the “ mannequin challenge ”. Sometimes it is used interchangeably with “ manikin ” although that spell is broadly reserved for the anatomical reference human forms used by doctors and nurses .
Q: And the actor from The Princess Bride and Homeland?
A : That ‘s Mandy Patinkin .
Q: Okay.
A : So what ‘s on your mind this week ?
Q: Last week I saw a press release for a film based on a Jane Austen book. It called it an excellent “adaption” of her novel. But I thought “adaptation” was the word?
A : It is common to see both around. And in terms of meaning, there may not be two words as closely connected to each other.

Q: What about “Siamese twins”? Those two words are quite connected.
A : very good. We mean that both are nouns of the verb “ adjust ” and, truly, despite some assuming they have subtle differences, they actually mean precisely the like thing .
Q: And that is?
A : There are two independent meanings. The act of changing to suit newly conditions, and – as in the Jane Austen example – a workplace of art recast into a new form or medium. That ‘s it .
Q: So, we have identical twin words. But even twins have one that was born first.
A : true, and in this subject “ adaptation ” turned up on the scene first in the 1590s – a french derived function of “ adapt ”. Around 20 years belated, “ adaptation ” appeared, and many assign this to users merely getting lazy and taking a shortcut – much like a agile walking way across grass alongside a paved path .
Q: Isn’t there a name for that kind of path?
A : yes, those are called “ desire paths ” .
Q: You could say that they’re an “adaptation” of the original route!
A : well played .
Q: So is one of these words preferred over the other?
A : absolutely. We recommend using “ adaptation ” – as does about every dictionary on the planet. It has constantly been the more popular option .
Q: So why do people still use “adaption”?
A : As we said earlier, possibly they see it having a insidious difference in meaning, or like that it ‘s shorter. But in every case, “ adaptation ” should in truth be substituted .
Q: So if I see “adaption”, accept that it’s okay to have been used. But if I’m writing, best to avoid it?

A : precisely. Adopt this approach path to the noun of adjust and you ‘ll become more adept .
Do you have a grammar gripe or punctuation puzzle that you’d like our Q&A to explore? Email it to us today!
BU Community 1 mugs

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