I came across the word confusion between harm and hurt in a story I started this morning, and I was curious. There doesn’t appear to be any real difference between, but it is there. It’s quite subtle, and there are two differences:
- When you budget and live within your means, it might hurt but it won’t harm you.
- While your muscles may hurt after a strenuous workout, this is a hurt that will go away. If you’re dealing with ongoing muscle pain, this could be harming your body and causing lasting damage that will cause you further harm.
- While hurt is the experience of something painful, it may not be damaging. But harm is different. Harm creates significant problems.
…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end.
|Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com|
|Part of Grammar:|
|Noun 1 and 2; Verb 1, transitive||Adjective; Noun; Verb, intransitive & transitive|
Physical injury or mental damage, especially that which is deliberately inflicted 1
[Military] A US air-to-surface missile designed to detect and destroy radar sites by homing on their emissions 2
To harm one’s reputation
Suggesting that one has been offended or is suffering in mind
A blow that inflicts a wound
The cause of mental pain or offense, as an insult
[Heraldry] A rounded azure
To cause bodily or mental pain or distress
To cause injury, damage, or harm
To suffer want or need
To cause bodily pain to or in
To damage or decrease the efficiency of (a material object) by striking, rough use, improper care, etc.
To affect adversely
To hurt one’s reputation
To cause mental pain to
It’s fine as long as no one is inflicting harm on anyone else.
It’s unlikely to do much harm to the engine.
I can’t see any harm in it.
It was that intent to do bodily harm that extended his sentence.
Don’t worry, my dear, you will come to no harm.
Oh man, that’ll do more harm than good, major.
Hey, no harm done.
Strictly speaking it was petty trespassing, but no harm, no foul.
She’s out of harm’s way.
The diet of milk and zwieback certainly did him no harm.
The prank was cruel, but they meant no harm by it.
There’s no harm in asking.
The HARM uses a multi-mode seeker to counter enemy shut-down capability.
Smoking, drinking, or doing drugs when pregnant can harm your baby.
This could harm his Olympic prospects.
Going through with this will harm people’s perceptions of me.
He would never harm anybody in his life.
This taxi driver became violent and physically harmed me.
There is no use fighting intolerance by physically harming someone.
He complained of a hurt leg and asked his trainer to stop the fight.
There are so many dogs and cats with hurt paws after an ice storm.
“You know I care,” he said, in a hurt voice.
I felt so hurt and alone.
The hurt child was taken to the hospital.
Nothing but my pride was hurt.
Take that hurt look off your face!
We had a lot of hurt merchandise.
It was the hurt of being constantly ignored that sent her into a downward spiral.
His wariness masked a terrible hurt.
Three people were hurt after the bomb exploded.
It’s a hurt that he has tried all his life to heal.
A roundel may use a variety of colors, including hurt or wortleberry (American College of Heraldry).
Does that hurt?
Jesus, my back hurts.
The blow to his pride hurt most.
With the economy so bad, many are hurting.
Ow! You’re hurting me!
He was hurting badly, but he smiled through his tears.
The economy is hurting so many.
It wouldn’t hurt the lawn, if you watered it more often.
She hurt his feelings by not asking him to the party.
The frost hurt the orange crop.
|Adjective: harmful, harmless, self-harming, unharmed, unharming
Adverb: harmfully, harmlessly
Noun: harmer, harmfulness, harmlessness
|Adjective: hurtable, hurtful, hurtier, hurtiest, hurty, unhurt, unhurting
Noun: hurter, hurtfullness
|History of the Word:|
|1. Old English hearm (noun), hearmian (verb) is of Germanic origin and related to the German Harm and the Old Norse harmr meaning grief, sorrow.||Middle English, originally in the sense to strike and a blow, from the Old French hurter (verb), hurt (noun), and perhaps ultimately, of Germanic origin.|
C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves? Also, please note that I try to be as accurate as I can, but mistakes happen or I miss something. Email me if you find errors, so I can fix them…and we’ll all benefit!