What's the difference between "tautens" and "

Guest   Mon Mar 17, 2008 1:02 am GMT
Is there a difference?
Guest   Mon Mar 17, 2008 1:03 am GMT
and "tightens"
Guest   Mon Mar 17, 2008 1:04 am GMT
There is a difference. The first is a word enclosed in quotes, while the second is just a quotation mark.
Uriel   Mon Mar 17, 2008 2:04 am GMT
Yes, there is a difference, albeit a small one. Things that are taut are STRETCHED tight, and often are wide expanses of something, like sails or skin, although they don't always have to be. Tautening things pulls out all the wrinkles, or takes up the slack, if you are talking about stringlike objects like rope. Usually there is some sort of continuous tension being applied to make or keep something taut.

You can often use "tighten" where you use "tauten", but you can't always do the reverse. Tightening applies to a whole range of items that "taut" cannot, as in tightening screws or bolts. So you have to watch where you use each word.