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Monday, January 21, 2008

Iterate v. Reiterate

Could somebody please explain to me the difference between the words iterate and reiterate? I would be much obliged.


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8 comments:

feed the world with PEZ said...

Iterate is to do or say again repeatedly (probably more than once). Reiterate is to do or say again repeatedly to the point of excessiveness (probably more than twice)... Hey, thats all I've got!

Sra said...

Hmmm...

Roy Morien said...

As a native English speaker with a pretty good education level in English, I have never considered 'reiterate' to mean doing something repeatedly 'perhaps excessively'. That is just not part of my thinking about using that word. So what is the difference between 'iterate' and 'reiterate' ... well, I see little difference, but my usage of the words would be 'Let me reiterate ...' meaning 'let me repeat that ...' but once, not many times, and I would use 'iterate' to mean doing the same thing again and again. In speaking, I would not say 'let me iterate ...'. So really, 'reiterate' is a close synonym for 'repeat' as in "Let me repeat that ...' or 'let me say again that ...'. I might even say 'Let me reiterate again ...' meaning 'let me repeat that another time' and I would not see this as a redundancy.

In computer programming there are 'iterative' structures in programming languages but no 'reiterative' structures. :) and certainly it would 'probably be more than once' :D. If it is only once, then it is neither an iteration, a reiteration or a repeat.

Sra said...

Excellent, Roy, thank you for joining the debate.

Anonymous said...

In common usage there is no difference, both words mean exactly the same.

Anonymous said...

In common usage there is no difference, both words mean exactly the same.

Roy Morien said...

As a native English speaker with a pretty good education level in English, I have never considered 'reiterate' to mean doing something repeatedly 'perhaps excessively'. That is just not part of my thinking about using that word. So what is the difference between 'iterate' and 'reiterate' ... well, I see little difference, but my usage of the words would be 'Let me reiterate ...' meaning 'let me repeat that ...' but once, not many times, and I would use 'iterate' to mean doing the same thing again and again. In speaking, I would not say 'let me iterate ...'. So really, 'reiterate' is a close synonym for 'repeat' as in "Let me repeat that ...' or 'let me say again that ...'. I might even say 'Let me reiterate again ...' meaning 'let me repeat that another time' and I would not see this as a redundancy.

In computer programming there are 'iterative' structures in programming languages but no 'reiterative' structures. :) and certainly it would 'probably be more than once' :D. If it is only once, then it is neither an iteration, a reiteration or a repeat.

Sra said...

Hmmm...

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