‘Clench’ vs. ‘Clinch’: Which is victorious?

Similar spellings of Hold tight And clinch can make you pause to think about which words to use in certain contexts. Is it correct to say that a person Hold tight their fists or a deal has been Hold tight? And for you carpenters out there, it’s true: tighten or clinch a nail?

Historically, the two words have shared the same meaning including those in the situations above, which means that by definition you can use either word. However, current usage evidence suggests that you can draw some criticism in your word choice. (This is English. You will always be criticized.) After decades of use, a preference has developed for some of his senses. Hold tight And clinchso the substitution of words willy-nilly is warned against.

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After winning, he clutched his medal.

clinch began to be used in place of the older one Hold tight in the 16th century. Originally, both words denoted the act of grasping the tip of a nail with a hammer and flipping it into wood or flattening the tip of the nail with the tip of a hammer. In this sense, either word is still used, but clinch is more normal.

… the nails through the doors or shutters are fastened or double wooden on the back of the poles. — James L. Garvin, Construction History of Northern New England2004

The handles on the body of the steam iron are usually attached with hook nails—the nails are hammered in from the outside and then bent tightly to the inside. — Jeanne Huber, washington articlesAugust 31, 2017

In the expanded sense, both Hold tight And clinch came to refer to the act of clenching a hand, as in “clenching a fist in anger, frustration, etc.” However, by the 19th century, Hold tight took hold, and is to this day the more acceptable choice. Besides, Hold tight means “to hold firmly by or as if by grasping.”

Stocky and broad-shouldered, with a thick cigar frequently clenched between his teeth…. — Matt Schudel, washington articlesFebruary 5, 2015

Moments of fervor are contained in the overall precision of the dance, even at their peak performance. A gesture of despair, a body falling to the ground and two hands covering a grieving face, all done with absolute control. — Sheila Regan, Star Court (Minneapolis, Minnesota), January 30, 2017

In time, both Hold tight And clinch come to denote the resolution of a dispute, agreement or other matter. This meaning seems to have been influenced by the meaning of “nail” which involves fastening with an ending stroke — or strokes (depending on one’s skill with a hammer).

The data from either experiment alone would prove the case for the new particle. — Adrian Cho, ScienceJuly 13, 2012

clinch so far the preferred word in this case, but don’t be too surprised to see Hold tight in its place (and considering the historical evidence, its use is defensible).

Officials say the complicated case has led them to cross state lines multiple times, and it was the help of the public and recent forensic evidence that shed light on the case. — Alicia Gallegos and Jeff Parrott, The South Bend (Indiana) TribuneSeptember 22, 2007

A context in which Hold tight And clinch do not share meaning is in boxing where clinch alone refers to the act of holding an opponent so that punches cannot be exchanged. In sports, clinch also represents the guarantee of victory or a place in a tournament. The word “win” also applies to other types of contests, such as political elections.

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After decades of synonym use, now clinch is the preferred choice Hold tight in all but one sense. Hold tight hold on as a word suggests—close or hold tight.

Categories: Usage Notes
Source: vothisaucamau.edu.vn

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