topic posted Sat, April 16, 2005 - 1:07 PM by  JM
What's the difference between a quiver and a quaver?

Is a quaver ALWAYS only for sounds?
posted by:
offline JM
  • Re: quiver/quaver

    Sat, April 16, 2005 - 5:21 PM
    Quaver can be interchangeable with quiver (to shake or tremble) but also has an additional definition as "to speak tremulously or shakily".
  • Unsu...

    Re: quiver/quaver

    Sat, April 16, 2005 - 7:20 PM
    excellent question! are you sure about the answer glenn? i would have thought quaver was only for sounds....

    ...both great words.
    • Re: quiver/quaver

      Sat, April 16, 2005 - 7:25 PM
      According to my American Heritage Dictionary 1983 edition...
      • Unsu...

        Re: quiver/quaver

        Sat, April 16, 2005 - 7:55 PM
        gotcha. i should have looked it up...
        • Re: quiver/quaver

          Sun, April 17, 2005 - 11:12 AM
          So if I said "His hand quivered"
          "His hand quavered"
          would that give you the same image?
          • Re: quiver/quaver

            Sun, April 17, 2005 - 12:18 PM
            not for me...

            the first could connote excitement or anticipation...c.f. (and b/c of) usages like "to quiver with excitement".

            the second might connote more a sense of anxiety, fear, or an uncontrollable impulse...perhaps b/c of sounding-like with "quake"? (i can't attest to any specific usages...but it's a feeling i get about the word...aah, the power of intuition in lingustic analysis =)
            • Re: quiver/quaver

              Mon, April 25, 2005 - 4:30 PM
              yeah, I'm with you, Shawn-- the *connotation* of 'quaver' is definitely more fear-&-trembling due to its associations with voices quavering, whereas 'quiver' has gone on to enjoy neutral-to-positive associations thanks to salacious bodice-ripping prose...
              • Re: quiver/quaver

                Tue, April 26, 2005 - 9:59 AM
                Another aspect to consider is the "proper" applied use of each word. "Quaver" can be used as a verb. "Quiver" can be used as an intransitive verb.
  • Re: quiver/quaver

    Sun, April 17, 2005 - 2:10 PM
    Your body can either quiver *or* quaver but only your voice can quaver.

    Although quavering seems to me to imply fear or anxiety while a body might quiver do to pleasure, disease, cold, or any number of things.
  • Re: quiver/quaver

    Sun, April 17, 2005 - 8:49 PM
    This is a strange one because of the very complicated etymology of "quiver". Quiver as a container for arrows (you know, the kind of thing Errol Flynn always had hung over his arm in those medieval epic films) has a very precise and well-documented etymology from the old French "quivre" (which meant, golly gee! a container for arrows). However, as a word denoting trembling, weakness and anxiety, it appears to be an alternate of "quaveren" or the Old English "cwifr-" which, of course, brings us back to quaver as word that describes weakness and trembling.

    Quaver as a verb in English appears to be older than quiver, but for some reason, by about the mid 16th century, quaver took on the musical meaning it still holds today and quiver replaced it in the "fear and trembling" category. Quaver is still technically correct though, and most dictionaries cite both words as alternates for trembling.
    • Re: quiver/quaver

      Mon, April 18, 2005 - 8:04 AM
      Even without previously knowing their respective etymologies, I have to say that "quaver" carries more unsurety in my mind because it reminds me of "waver".
  • Re: quiver/quaver

    Mon, April 18, 2005 - 1:50 PM
    What about divers/diverse? They both seem to mean a variety or assortment, but I think "divers" has more to do with number, and "diverse" more to do with differences?
    • Re: quiver/quaver

      Tue, April 26, 2005 - 5:21 PM
      They're both adjectives used to describe non-identical groups of entities, however they do have distinct meanings.

      [Also, my impression is that 'divers' is well on its way to being obsolete, and is rarely used unless the author is trying for a quaint feeling...]

      'Divers' just means "various" and thus could be used to describe a group of entities which are more alike than not, despite having some differences among them. "Under the tree gathered divers members of Robin's men gathered, all Anglo-Saxon men wearing green tights and smelling of ale, though some more portly than others."

      Whereas 'diverse' means "unlike" and can only properly be used to describe a group of entities with markedly different traits.
      • Re: quiver/quaver

        Wed, April 27, 2005 - 10:33 AM
        FYI: ian23

        Neither quiver nor quaver is an adjective according to either link:
        • Re: quiver/quaver

          Wed, April 27, 2005 - 1:45 PM
          I think he was referring to my query about divers/diverse.
          • Re: quiver/quaver

            Wed, April 27, 2005 - 2:56 PM
            Monica, if someone else reads thru posts as quickly as I do, the post following mine appears to be contradicting it.

            It's helpful and less confusing, if one takes an extra moment to name the individual he or she is addressing when writing a response, especially if the post is "diverging" from the original topic of discussion.
            • Re: quiver/quaver

              Wed, April 27, 2005 - 3:08 PM
              I view the posts as "threaded" (link at top of page) which shows that Ian23's response is directly related to my post. Maybe one could take an extra moment to read more slowly through the posts? :)
              • Re: quiver/quaver

                Wed, April 27, 2005 - 7:52 PM

                What is possible is not necessarily what is likely to occur.
                What has already occured is more than likely to recur.

                Logic & reasoning, not emotional considerations, are the motivators behind my decision to make the earlier post. Sometimes clarity for the majority is more important than convenience for the minority.
                • Re: quiver/quaver

                  Thu, April 28, 2005 - 7:53 AM
                  True, I'm just saying the same thing you are, pretty much: things are likely to continue in the same manner they already are, so we must each do what we can to make communication more understandable for ourselves, not depending on others to make it easier for us. If we can each make concessions so that others can understand us better, then great - but don't expect it. We are all, after all, just imperfect people, and the medium of the internet is by no means a conduit for clear and easily understood communication. :)
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.

                    Re: quiver/quaver

                    Thu, April 28, 2005 - 9:20 AM
                    Looks like we've found some middle ground. Nice!

                    I also consider humankind's "imperfections" inherent qualities, however since these traits appear to me to be designed by a "perfect" source they are in my reality not "imperfections" at all. If humans choose to make judgements based upon their observations and create for themselves altered realities, so be it. I consider my "self" an opinionated observer who sojourns the middle path of judgement and observation. That means the ideas of "right" and "wrong" are relative. I consider the 5 senses inferior to my "intuitions", however that doesn't make my preference "correct." Acceptance and discerning tolerance of each others unique qualities is key to having a thriving community.

                    Perhaps you'd enjoy a tribe that I moderate called: "tRiBaL fRiEnDs"

                    Here is a link:

                    • Re: quiver/quaver

                      Thu, April 28, 2005 - 6:47 PM
                      re: "clarity for the majority"

                      Not to be a prat, but on this particular point, aleksonder, you're clearly in the minority-- I've never heard of anyone else on tribe *not* using threaded view.

                      [And, even without threading, IMO even a fast read of my post should have made it quite clear I wasn't addressing you. Try polishing the dust of that sense of humor of yours before you post, eh? :) ]
                      • Re: quiver/quaver

                        Thu, April 28, 2005 - 7:09 PM
                        Have we not totally diverged from the topic of quiver/quaver now?

                        A third option: start a new thread on the topic of proper posting etiquette.

                        A fourth: privately send someone a message so everyone doesn't have to sift through conversations.

                        A fifth: apathy.

                        A sixth: tell me, by replying to this post, or private message, that I am being a hypocrite and to just shut up.

                        All these seem like great options to me! Just wanted to further complicate the dynamic...

                        And yes "the medium of the internet is by no means a conduit for clear and easily understood communication." Keep in mind the facetious grin which accompanies this post.

                        (what were the first two options anyhow?)
                        • Re: quiver/quaver

                          Fri, April 29, 2005 - 12:05 PM
                          It appeared to me that the topic of quiver vs. quaver was spent, however I'm open to the iota of analysis. Please do share options 1 and 2.
                      • Re: quiver/quaver

                        Fri, April 29, 2005 - 12:13 PM
                        Didn't realize that you'd been harboring any grudges, Ian23. Please accept this post, as a formal apology, acknowledging that I hurt your feelings. It was never my intention to do so.
                        • Re: quiver/quaver

                          Fri, April 29, 2005 - 12:33 PM
                          BTW, for those who have not yet discovered the beauty of "unthreaded" viewing, it has true alignment for ease of reading, shows all recent posting activity at the end of each thread, and facilitates making quick reviews (of any thread) without having to search for any random posting.
                        • Re: quiver/quaver

                          Fri, April 29, 2005 - 4:23 PM
                          no grudge taken, *aleksonder.*

                          your apology is a very nice gesture.

                          I assure you, though, that my feelings were not hurt. I was merely annoyed by what I perceived to be cluelessness, imperiousness and fussiness, in that order.
                          • Re: quiver/quaver

                            Fri, April 29, 2005 - 5:53 PM
                            Sorry to read your follow up posts. Sounds like you have some more issues you'd like to discuss. Shall we in private or do you prefer an open forum?
              • Re: quiver/quaver

                Sun, May 1, 2005 - 2:42 PM
                i lifted this from newbies. it helped me on the topic of threaded/vs/unthreaded/vs/newest first.

                OK, on newest first and unthreaded all you have to do to find out who the posts is in respose to is to click on the small link at the top of the post. I have illistrated which one with a big orange arrow in this example