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Smarter words.

compare with; compare to.

compare with; compare to. The usual phrase has for centuries been compare with, which means “to place side by side, noting differences and similarities between” <let us compare his goals with his actual accomplishments>. Compare to = to observe or point only to likenesses between <he compared her eyes to limpid pools>. 

     Compare and contrast is an English teacher’s tautology, for in comparing two things (one thing with another) one notes both similarities and differences.

Quotation of the Day: “Write with nouns and verbs, not with adjectives and adverbs. The adjective hasn’t been built that can pull a weak or inaccurate noun out of a tight place.”
William Strunk, Jr. & E.B. White,
The Elements of Style 71 (3d ed. 1979).
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