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Affinity vs infinity

  • Affinity and infinity are two words that are close in spelling and pronunciation, but have very different meanings. Many words in the English language sound similar in spoken conversation, or look similar on the printed page. The successful student of English as a second language will learn the difference between such terms. We will examine the definitions of the words affinity and infinity, where they came from and some examples of their use in sentences.


     

    Affinity is a special relationship with something or someone, a close connection, a natural positive feeling toward something or someone. Affinity may mean having a natural preference for something or someone, or to have a natural talent in a particular direction. Affinity may also mean a similar structure between plants, animals, institutions, etc. Affinity is a noun, the plural form is affinities and the adjective form is affinitive. The word affinity is derived from the French word afinite which means relationship or kinship. The earliest meaning of the word affinity in English dates to the 1300s, when the term meant a relationship through marriage.

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    Infinity means a state of limitlessness, a state of unendingness or uncountable dimensions or size. Infinity describes something of indefinite magnitude that is too large to be counted and in fact, has no ending point. Infinity is also a noun, the plural form is infinities and the adjective form is infinite. The word infinity is derived from the French word infinité which means an uncountable amount, a limitless number.

    Examples

    She had studied Spanish in college and had an affinity for the culture, her daughter said. (The Buffalo News)

    And Bowser, whose resume includes time at Proctor & Gamble and Electronic Arts, will have big shoes to fill with the Nintendo gamer audience, which has shown an affinity for company leaders more than any other fan base. (Fortune Magazine)

    Jenner shares an affinity for the late bombshell actress, and has a series of Andy Warhol’s portraits of her lining the staircase in this same foyer. (People Magazine)

    The smallest infinity is something like the set of natural numbers — what you would get if you started counting 1, 2, 3 and never stopped. (Quanta Magazine)

    On “Avengers: Infinity War,” the vfx crew found that a new innovation — machine learning — made it possible to create the character Thanos in a way that would have simply been impossible without it. (Variety Magazine)

    Not even those sports lampooned for dragging out their postseasons to infinity and beyond. (The Atlanta Journal Constitution)


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