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Which one is right:

My long-term conception for a widely applicable next-generation software-uninstaller is to observe the programs under installation carefully and fully. In this context, wide applicability means that as many programs as possible will be correctly tracked and, when necessary, uninstalled.

My long-term conception for a broadly applicable next-generation software-uninstaller is to observe the programs under installation carefully and fully. In this context, broad applicability means that as many programs as possible will be correctly tracked and, when necessary, uninstalled.

Why?

The bold-and-italics marking is mine (i.e., it does not occur in the original text).

  • Vasili, I will repeat my advice: find yourself an English editor for this. The word conception is misused. – Lambie Mar 23 '18 at 22:25
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The two phrases you write mean nearly the same thing. As an editor, I would not say one or the other is more "right."

Widely applicable: can be applied in a wide variety of cases.

Broadly applicable: can be applied across a range of cases.

If there's any difference, it's in tone rather than substance, in my opinion.

From Webster's NW Dictionary:

Widely (adv.): 2 - Over a large area; to a large or full extent.

Broadly (adv.) 6 - Wide in range...

In Webster's definitions, 'broad' has a few more distinct meanings than 'wide' does. "Broad comedy" (obvious, not sophisticated humor); "broad daylight" (fully light), for example.

  • Thank you. I changed the text slightly and added one more sentence; perhaps it would help to determine which word sounds better. – user72629 Mar 23 '18 at 19:38
  • @VasiliPupkin if forced to choose I'd go with broadly, but not because it changes the meaning in any way. It just sounds slightly better to my ear, possibly because broadly is used less often than widely. – Andrew Mar 23 '18 at 20:39

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