Language vs Action - What's the difference?

language | action |

As nouns the difference between language and action

is that language is (lb) a body of words, and set of methods of combining them (called a grammar), understood by a community and used as a form of communication or language can be a languet, a flat plate in or below the flue pipe of an organ while action is something done so as to accomplish a purpose.

As verbs the difference between language and action

is that language is to communicate by language; to express in language while action is (management) to act on a request etc, in order to put it into effect.

As an interjection action is

demanding or signifying the start of something, usually an act or scene of a theatric performance.



Etymology 1

(etyl) language, from (etyl) language, from .


{{examples-right, The English Wiktionary uses the English language' to define words from all of the world's ' languages .

This person is saying "hello" in American sign language . }} (wikipedia language)
  • (lb) A body of words, and set of methods of combining them (called a grammar), understood by a community and used as a form of communication.
  • * 1867', ''Report on the Systems of Deaf-Mute Instruction pursued in Europe'', quoted in '''1983 in ''History of the College for the Deaf, 1857-1907 (ISBN 0913580856), page 240:
  • Hence the natural language' of the mute is, in schools of this class, suppressed as soon and as far as possible, and its existence as a ' language , capable of being made the reliable and precise vehicle for the widest range of thought, is ignored.
  • * {{quote-book, page=50, year=1900, author=(w)
  • , title= The History of the Caliph Vathek , passage=No language could express his rage and despair.}}
  • * 2000 , Geary Hobson, The Last of the Ofos (ISBN 0816519595), page 113:
  • Mr. Darko, generally acknowledged to be the last surviving member of the Ofo Tribe, was also the last remaining speaker of the tribe's language .
  • (lb) The ability to communicate using words.
  • (lb) The vocabulary and usage of a particular specialist field.
  • *
  • Thus, when he drew up instructions in lawyer language , he expressed the important words by an initial, a medial, or a final consonant, and made scratches for all the words between; his clerks, however, understood him very well.
  • The expression of thought (the communication of meaning) in a specified way.
  • * 2001 , Eugene C. Kennedy, ?Sara C. Charles, On Becoming a Counselor (ISBN 0824519132):
  • A tale about themselves [is] told by people with help from the universal languages of their eyes, their hands, and even their shirting feet.
  • A body of sounds, signs and signals by which animals communicate, and by which plants are sometimes also thought to communicate.
  • A computer language; a machine language.
  • * 2015 , Kent D. Lee, Foundations of Programming Languages (ISBN 3319133144), page 94:
  • In fact pointers are called references in these languages' to distinguish them from pointers in ' languages like C and C++.
  • (lb) Manner of expression.
  • * (rfdate) Cowper:
  • Their language simple, as their manners meek,
  • (lb) The particular words used in a speech or a passage of text.
  • (lb) Profanity.
  • *{{quote-book, page=500, year=1978, author=James Carroll
  • , title= Mortal Friends, isbn=0440157897 , passage="Where the hell is Horace?" ¶ "There he is. He's coming. You shouldn't use language ."}}
    * (form of communication) tongue, speech (spoken language) * (vocabulary of a particular field) lingo (colloquial), jargon, terminology, phraseology, parlance * (computer language) computer language, programming language, machine language * (particular words used) phrasing, wording, terminology
    Derived terms
    * artificial language * auxiliary language * bad language * body language * computing language * constructed language * endangered language * extinct language * foreign language * formal language * foul language * international language * language barrier * language code * language cop * language death * language extinction * language family * language lab, language laboratory * language model * language of flowers * language planning * language police * language pollution * language processing * language school * language shift * language technology * language transfer * languaging * machine language * mathematical language * mind one's language * natural language * pattern language * programming language * private language * secular language * sign language * speak someone's language * standard language * vehicular language * vernacular language


  • To communicate by language; to express in language.
  • * (rfdate) Fuller:
  • Others were languaged in such doubtful expressions that they have a double sense.

    See also

    * lexis, term, word * bilingual * linguistics * multilingual * trilingual

    Etymology 2

    Alteration of (m).


    (en noun)
  • A languet, a flat plate in or below the flue pipe of an organ.
  • * 1896 , William Horatio Clarke, The Organist's Retrospect , page 79:
  • A flue-pipe is one in which the air passes through the throat, or flue, which is the narrow, longitudinal aperture between the lower lip and the tongue, or language'.


    * ----



    (wikipedia action)


    (en noun)
  • Something done so as to accomplish a purpose.
  • A way of motion or functioning.
  • Knead bread with a rocking action .
  • A fast-paced activity.
  • an action movie
  • A mechanism; a moving part or assembly.
  • a rifle action
  • (music): The mechanism, that is the set of moving mechanical parts, of a keyboard instrument, like a piano, which transfers the motion of the key to the sound-making device.Marshall Cavendish Corporation Growing Up with Science p.1079
  • (slang) sexual intercourse.
  • She gave him some action .
  • The distance separating the strings and the fretboard on the guitar.
  • (military) Combat.
  • He saw some action in the Korean War.
  • (legal) A charge or other process in a law court (also called lawsuit and actio ).
  • (mathematics) A mapping from a pairing of mathematical objects to one of them, respecting their individual structures. The pairing is typically a Cartesian product or a tensor product. The object that is not part of the output is said to act'' on the other object. In any given context, ''action'' is used as an abbreviation for a more fully named notion, like group action or ''left group action.
  • The event or connected series of events, either real or imaginary, forming the subject of a play, poem, or other composition; the unfolding of the drama of events.
  • (art, painting and sculpture) The attitude or position of the several parts of the body as expressive of the sentiment or passion depicted.
  • (bowling) spin put on the bowling ball.
  • (business, obsolete, a Gallicism) A share in the capital stock of a joint-stock company, or in the public funds.
  • * Burke
  • The Euripus of funds and actions .

    Derived terms

    * actioner * action hero * action item * action man * action movie * action star * actions speak louder than words * direct action * ! * lost in action * missing in action * piece of the action * social action * take action

    See also

    * deed *


    (en interjection)
  • Demanding or signifying the start of something, usually an act or scene of a theatric performance.
  • The director yelled ‘Action !’ before the camera started rolling.


    (en verb)
  • (management) To act on a request etc, in order to put it into effect.
  • * {{quote-book, year=2004
  • , publisher=Pearson Education , author=Ros Jay, Richard Templar , title=Fast Thinking Manager's Manual , edition=Second edition , chapter=Fast thinking: project , section=Fast Thinking Leader citation , isbn=9780273681052 , page=276 , passage=‘Here, give me the minutes of Monday’s meeting. I’ll action your points for you while you get on and sort out the open day.’}}
  • * {{quote-book, year=2005
  • , publisher=Routledge , author=Fritz Liebreich , title=Britain's Navel and Political Reaction to the Illegal Immigration of Jews to Palestine, 1945-1948 , chapter=The physical confrontation: interception and diversion policies in theory and practice citation , isbn=9780714656373 , page=196 , passage=Violent reactions from the Jewish authorities were expected and difficulties of actioning the new guidelines were foreseen.}}
  • * {{quote-book, year=2007
  • , publisher=The Stationery Office , editor= , author=Great Britain: Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman , title=Tax Credits: Getting it wrong? 5th report session 2006-2007 , chapter=Case study: 11257 , section=Chapter 2: Changes and developments since June 2005 citation , isbn=9780102951172 , page=26 , passage=HMRC said that one reason they had not actioned her appeal was because she had said in her appeal form ‘I am appealing against the overpayment for childcare for 2003-04, 2004-05’, thus implying she was disputing her ‘overpayment’.}}
  • (transitive, chiefly, archaic) To initiate a legal action against someone.
  • * {{quote-book, year=1856
  • , publisher=Stringer & Townsend , author=Thomas Chandler Haliburton , title=The Attaché: or Sam Slick in England , section=Chapter XLVII: The Horse Stealer; or All Trades Have Tricks But Our Own , edition=New Revised Edition citation , page=270 , passage=‘I have no business to settle with you—arrest me, Sir, at your peril and I’ll action you in law for false imprisonment.’}}
  • * {{quote-book, year=1844
  • , year_published= , publisher=T. C. Newby , author=Robert Mackenzie Daniel , title=The Grave Digger: A novel by the author of The Scottish Heiress , volume=I , section=Chapter IX: How the Grave-differ entertained a lady citation , pages=189-190 , passage=“Scrip threatened me at first with an action for slander—he spoke of actions to the wrong man though—action! no, no no. I should have actioned him—ha! ha! [...]”}}
  • * {{quote-book, year=1871
  • , year_published=2002 , publisher=Oxford University Press US , author=Michael Shermer , quotee=(Alfred Russell Wallace) , title=In Darwin’s shadow: The Life and Science of Alfred Russell Wallace , section=Chapter 10. Heretic Personality citation , isbn=9780195148305 , page=261 , passage=I have actioned him for Libel, but he won’t plead, and says he will make himself bankrupt & won’t pay a penny.}}
  • * {{quote-book, year=1996
  • , publisher=Boydell & Brewer , author=Darryl Mark Ogier , title=Reformation and Society in Guernsey , chapter=Discipline: Enforcement , section=Part Two: The Calvinist Regime citation , isbn=9780851156033 , page=148 , passage=In 1589 the Court went so far as to effect a reconciliation between Michel le Petevin and his wife after she actioned him for ill treatment and adultery with their chambermaid.}}

    Usage notes

    * The verb sense (term) is rejected by some usage authorities., page 3


    * OED 2nd edition 1989 * Notes: