Q to U
Qualitative and Quantitative
Qualitative is an adjective often used to describe information or data that can be seen or observed but not measured numerically, e.g. The students are well prepared. The adjective quantitative is commonly used to describe measurable information, data and evidence, e.g. The class has 10 students.
Rational and Rationale
Rational is an adjective and is used to describe something or someone based on reason or logic, e.g. At times, John is incapable of any rational discussion with his parents. Rationale is a noun meaning sense or logic and describes the reason or reasons behind an action or belief, e.g. The President was urged to explain the rationale behind his policy change.
Stationery and Stationary
These words sound the same in British English, but they have completely different meanings. Stationery can be a noun or an adjective and refers to writing and office supplies such as paper, pens, envelopes etc, e.g. The junior office assistant is responsible for ordering new stationery and putting it away in the stationery storeroom. Stationary means keeping still, not moving or not changing and can be used as an adjective or an adverb, e.g. House prices in this area have remained stationary for over a year.
Touch and Feel
To touch has many uses as a verb, but generally means to have light physical contact with something or someone, e.g. Visitors are warned not to touch the exhibits. To feel means to touch something in order to find out something about it, e.g. Isabel felt the handbag to check that it was real leather. To feel also means to experience something physically or emotionally, e.g. Peter felt so happy when he heard he had got the job.
Uninterested and Disinterested
Both words are adjectives but they are not synonyms. Uninterested means not interested or not wishing to get involved in something, e.g. Simon was due to retire in a few months so was understandably uninterested in learning how to use the new computer program. Disinterested means to have no personal advantage or involvement and therefore able to be fair and impartial, e.g. It is crucial that all jury members are disinterested parties.