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Comment vs. Commentary

You must have seen the word ‘comment’ often on Facebook. Whenever you post something about yourself – a text, event, picture etc… people ‘comment’ on it, like it, share it and so on. But how is it different from commentary – a word often used in the context of sports, particularly cricket! Let us explore both the words in this Grammar.com article.

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  Ramya Shankar  —  Grammar Tips
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Comment

Comment is a short statement or remark about something one has seen or experienced. For example, ‘your shoes are nice’ is a comment on the shoes, ‘it was a funny movie’ is also a comment. Comment can be verbal or written and is often a casual expression of opinion or a reaction on something. It can be used both as a noun and a verb. Comment has its origin from the Latin word comminisci meaning devise.

Some examples

•  She always has to comment about everyone during the break.

•  I didn’t like his comments about my sister.

•  He gave a sarcastic comment on my dress.

•  I got so many good comments on my Facebook post about the movie.

•  Everyone commented about the way she looked, but she was never affected by it.

•  Stop commenting about everyone else, look at your own self first!

In computer language context, comment means adding text that describes what a program or piece of code does. For example, “I added few comments that will help you understand the code.” Comments are considered to be part of good documentation for coding.

Related phrase

no comments – When a sensitive situation arises about which one doesn’t want to talk, they simply say “no comments”, which means they don’t want to give their opinion about it.

Commentary

Commentary is generally a lengthy note or speech that describes an event or performance. Sometimes, the description is told as it happenswhich is what we call as ‘running’ or ‘live’ commentary, because the description, written or verbal goes along with the event that is happening. For example, live commentary during a cricket match, or a game show.

Commentary is a more detailed explanation as compared to comment which is brief (short).

The very first origin of commentary is the same comminisci which later became commentarium, an adjective and frequentative of comminisci.

Comment vs. Commentary

For example,

•  We got fed up of hearing her running commentary about her in-laws whenever we meet.

•  The political commentary on this channel is insightful as well as witty.

•  My professor picked me this time to give a commentary on the book we had read this week.

•  Some good commentators recently resigned due to some payment issues.

•  The commentary on the old testament was thorough.

Generally, commentary is narrative, each sentence is related to the previous one. Some people call commentary as a series of comments that are about the same topic. Commentary is a detailed account of your opinion, interpretation, analysis or thoughts about something.

Similarly, a commentator is a person who gives detailed ‘comments’ on something, or gives ‘commentary’.

Commenting vs commentating

Let us take some examples to understand the difference,

She likes commenting on everyone’s appearance – this is a casual remark.

He likes his job of commentating about sports events and performance of individual players – a more formal speech and detailed account of the event and its participants.

Essentially, the difference is similar to the difference between comment and commentary.

Hope the subtle differences between both the words are clear. Let us know what you think about this article in the comments section of the page!

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"Comment vs. Commentary." Grammar.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 5 Aug. 2020. <https://www.grammar.com/comment_vs_commentary>.

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