“Robert said to me, he said, ‘Coach, there’s a difference between injured and being hurt. I can guarantee I’m hurting right now — give me a chance to win this football game, because I can guarantee I’m not injured,’ ” Shanahan said. “That was enough for me.” (Sally Jenkins and Rick Maese, Washington Post, March 16, 2013)

“Most synonimes have some minute distinction that deserves notice.” (Thomas Reid, 1785, as quoted in the Oxford English Dictionary)

Two years ago Paul Bogaards wrote to me suggesting a special issue on synonymy. In his message, he noted that ‘a special issue of IJL devoted to the central concept of synonymy, or more broadly, sameness of meaning, could be of utmost interest. In my view, synonymy is a central issue in lexicography indeed: definitions try to describe the...

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