Inspiring vs Inspirational
To understand the difference between inspiring and inspirational we have to pay attention to the usage of each word. Inspiring and inspirational refer to two different words, even though both are derived from the same word. These two are adjectives that come from the word ‘inspire.’ Inspire is to be filled with an urge to do something. We all are inspired by others and their actions. For example, individuals such as Lord Buddha, Jesus Christ, Mother Theresa, Mahathma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela have become an inspiration to the entire world. When moving on to the two words, inspiring and inspiration, it is important to gain a basic understanding of how to define each word. Inspiring is to have the capacity to inspire an individual whereas inspirational is when the quality of inspiration lies within the source. When paying attention to the definitions, one can be easily confused. Hence, the objective of this article is to present a clear understanding of the difference.
What does Inspiring mean?
As mentioned in the introduction, inspiring can be defined as the ability to inspire another. We are inspired by many things. It can be by other people or even objects. Thoughts, actions, words, pictures, poems, scenery can all inspire us. In this sense, the key feature of the word inspiring is that it has the effect of changing the course of action of another.
Let us turn to some examples.
His speech was so inspiring.
The journey was truly inspiring.
First let us focus on the first example. The speaker was inspired by the speech of another. This speech was not given with the intent of inspiring the person in which case it would have been an inspirational speech. Nevertheless, the individual was inspired. This makes it the effect of the experience.
When moving on to the second example, just as in the first case, it is the experiences gained from the journey that inspired the speaker. The special characteristic is that there is no hidden motive to inspire, even though inspiration takes place as an outcome of the experience.
What does Inspirational mean?
Inspirational can be defined as containing inspiration. Unlike in inspiring, in inspirational, the intent of inspiring exists. However, one must bear in mind that this meaning can be lost in certain situations. Let us go through some examples.
It is an inspirational book.
I have heard that he is the best inspirational speaker in the region.
First pay attention to the first example. The book has the intention of inspiring the reader. In the earlier case, there was no motive of inspiring, even though it occurred, but, in this case, there is the definite motive of inspiring. In the second example, this meaning is much clearer. However, if the adjective is used as ‘he was inspirational,’ the meaning is similar to he was inspiring. This highlights that the position of the adjective also matters in emphasizing the difference.
What is the difference between Inspiring and Inspirational?
• Definitions of Inspiring and Inspirational:
• Inspiring can be defined as the ability to inspire another.
• Inspirational can be defined as containing inspiration.
• In inspiring, it is the effect of the experience that leads to the inspiration of the individual.
• In inspirational, inspiration is the intent of inspiring.
• In inspiring, there is no motive.
• In inspirational, there is a clear motive for inspiring.
• In inspirational, even though, there is a motive to inspire it may not be achieved in the end, but in inspiring it is always achieved.
However, it must be noted that, in the case of inspirational, as explained before, the position of the adjective also matters in emphasizing the difference.
- Journey via Pixabay (Public Domain)
- Dr. Charles Stanley via Wikicommons (Public Domain)
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