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"As opposed to" as apposed to "as apposed to"

EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Sep 29, 2010   #1
Hello Everyone,

I have a question that I hope someone can help me with. It involves the phrase "as opposed to."

Some of you might write, "I want to go to XXXXXX University as opposed to YYYYYY university."
However, a few years ago I learned that the word "appose" means to compare something side-by-side with something else.

Therefore, I suspect that the common phrase "as opposed to" is one that actually began as "as apposed to."

Can anyone shed some light on this for me?

mea505 - / 265  
Sep 29, 2010   #2
Hi Kevin,

It is interesting that you brought this up -- because it's been a long time since I have used or heard that word being used -- apposed. In any event, I found the following information using Google, and I think that this is probably the best definition you will get:

These two spellings originally meant the same thing, but now "appose" is a rare word having to do with placing one thing close to or on something else (compare with juxtapose). It mainly occurs today as an error spelling-checkers won't catch when the word intended is "oppose," meaning to be against something. If you object to a proposed course of action, you are opposed (not "apposed") to it.

Source: wsu.edu
appose Meaning(s)

* (v) place side by side or in close proximity

oppose Meaning(s)

* (v) be against; express opposition to
* (v) fight against or resist strongly
* (v) contrast with equal weight or force
* (v) set into opposition or rivalry
* (v) act against or in opposition to
* (v) be resistant to

Cheers! Mark
OP EF_Kevin 8 / 13,321 129  
Oct 2, 2010   #3
This is great. The discussion you have here makes this a useful thread. Well, useful to anyone who cares about oppose and appose.

I was thinking I was never going to be able to use that phrase anymore because if I used appose some people would think I was wrong and if I used oppose some people would think I was wrong. But anyway, I like to use "opposed."

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