That particular one is terribly special

Today mainly stems from my confusion about “aparta”. Whilst I tackle it for all our sakes, I’ll also distinguish it from a couple of close synom… synomnom… synonyms (that’s literally how many tries I needed).

So the Lernu Esperanto-English dictionary gives us a good few words that “aparta” can take the role of:

  • separate
  • particular
  • special
  • apart

But bear in mind, that among a few others (more easily distinguished) there are these two Esperanto words, which can be very similar:

  • speciala = special, particular
  • precipa = most important, main, principal
I’ve scoured dictionaries so you don’t have to…

It’ll probably make our lives easier to constrain the meaning of the synonyms first.

Precipa is probably the easiest. Only occasionally does it really feel like “special”, because it’s mostly talking about the level of importance of a thing. The most important thing. Something that is precipa is a particular, special thing (apartabecause it is the most important, distinguished from the rest. But something aparta (distinguished from the rest) is not necessarily the most important (precipa).

Something which is speciala, is special, it’s either destined for a particular purpose/goal or something very specific, or unusual. Again, something which is very unusual or specific (speciala) by definition is particular/separate (aparta). But something aparta, is not always speciala.

Now you can see that aparta most certainly describes the things that the terms above describe, but it’s more general than those. Something being aparta doesn’t necessarily imply it is speciala or precipa. Something aparta is merely distinguished in some way, perhaps indeed by its importance, or by its unusualness, or else by how separate in some measure it is from other things, such measures as distance or even eminence for example.