As nouns the difference between discovery and inquiry
is that discovery
is something discovered while inquiry
is the act of inquiring; a seeking of information by asking questions; interrogation; a question or questioning.
(uncountable) The discovering of new things.
- This latest discovery should eventually lead to much better treatments for disease.
- The purpose of the voyage was discovery .
(legal, uncountable) A pre-trial phase in which evidence is gathered.
- automatic discovery of RSS feeds by a Web browser
(legal, uncountable) Materials revealed to the opposing party during the pre-trial phase in which evidence is gathered.
- The prosecution moved to suppress certain items turned up during discovery .
- The defense argued that the plaintiff's discovery was inadequate.
The act of inquiring; a seeking of information by asking questions; interrogation; a question or questioning.
Search for truth, information, or knowledge; examination of facts or principles; research; investigation; as, physical inquiries.
According to Fowler's Modern English Usage'' (1926), ''inquiry'' should be used in relation to a formal inquest, and ''enquiry'' to the act of questioning. Many (though not all) British writers maintain this distinction; the Oxford English Dictionary, in its entry not updated since 1900, lists ''inquiry'' and ''enquiry'' as equal alternatives, in that order. Some British dictionaries, such as ''Chambers 21st Century Dictionary'' [http://www.chambersharrap.co.uk/chambers/features/chref/chref.py/main?title=21st&query=inquiry], present the two spellings as interchangeable variants in the general sense, but prefer ''inquiry'' for the "formal inquest" sense. In Australian English, ''inquiry'' represents a formal inquest (such as a government investigation) while ''enquiry'' is used in the act of questioning (eg: the customer enquired about the status of his loan application). Both spellings are current in Canadian English, where ''enquiry'' is often associated with scholarly or intellectual research. (See Pam Peters, ''The Cambridge Guide to English Usage , p. 282.)
American English usually uses inquiry .