Re: Ability vs Capability

Subject: Re: Ability vs Capability
From: "Dan Roberts" <droberts63 -at- earthlink -dot- net>
To: "Nancy C Kendall" <Nancy -dot- C -dot- Kendall -at- aexp -dot- com>, "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Wed, 21 Jun 2000 18:48:21 -0400

I'm curious about why you need to make such a distinction, and what that
distinction is.
Why can't either word be used for both situations?

-----Original Message-----
>To me, the word "ability" should only be applied to a person, not to software
>or a piece of equipment. For example: With the right equipment, a skilled
>person has the ability to move mountains.
>OTOH, the word "capability" should be applied to software or equipment.
>For example: In the hands of a skilled operator, earth-moving equipment has
>the capability of moving mountains.
> I've checked Merriam-Webster's online dictionary and thesaurus and didn't see
>any reason why these words should (or should not) be used in this way.

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