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strata. Therefore, exchange between terminological systems and the "common" vocabulary is quite normal, and it would be wrong to regard a term as something "special" and standing apart.

Two other controversial problems deal with polysemy and synonymy.

According to some linguists, an "ideal" term should be monosemantic (i. e. it should have only one meaning). Polysemantic terms may lead to misunderstanding, and that is a serious shortcoming in professional communication. This requirement seems quite reasonable, yet facts of the language do not meet it. There are, in actual fact, numerous polysemantic terms. The linguistic term semantics may mean both the meaning of a word and the branch of lexicology studying meanings. In the terminology of painting, the term colour may denote hue ("цвет") and, at the same time, stuff used for colouring ("краска").

The same is true about synonymy in terminological systems. There are scholars who insist that terms should not have synonyms because, consequently, scientists and other specialists would name the same objects and phenomena in their field by different terms and would not be able to come to any agreement. This may be true. But, in fact, terms do possess synonyms. In painting, the same term colour has several synonyms in both its meanings: hue, shade, tint, tinge in the first meaning ("цвет") and paint, tint, dye in the second ("краска").

Basic Vocabulary

These words are stylistically neutral, and, in this respect, opposed to formal and informal words described above. Their stylistic neutrality makes it possible to use them in all kinds of situations, both formal and informal, in verbal and written communication.


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