If two paths are of the same length, they are equally long. But then, if they're of the same distance, they are equally... distant?

It doesn't sound at all right and I strongly suspect that it's just not a case when a switcharoo between nouns allows for the equivalent on the related adjectives. In my ears, the second version sounds like they are equally distant from each other, without the actual requirement of being equally long. Then again, that statement makes no sense because two objects are always equally distant from each other (physical ones, at least).

Which is it?

  • 2
    Are you asking "What is the difference in meaning between length and distance? I live in Bristol; Wolverhampton and Coventry are both the same distance from me, 80 miles. May 5 '18 at 18:49
  • @MichaelHarvey I'm not sure if I got your example right. My question is about finding a synonym noun-wise and check if the synonyms on the related adjectives are still valid. May 5 '18 at 18:56
  • @KonradViltersten If they are equally long, their length from start to finish is the same. If they are equally distant, they are equally distant from a specified point regardless of their length. Two objects are indeed always equally distant from each other as long as they are stationary (which often they are not). May 5 '18 at 19:01
  • @Konrad Viltersten - synonym for what? May 5 '18 at 19:44
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    "they're of the same distance"... length is a property of an object, whereas distance is measured in relation to another object. May 5 '18 at 19:55

Michael Harvey's comment pretty much says it all:

length is a property of an object, whereas distance is measured in relation to another object

If two paths have the same length, then they are equally long. If they have the same distance from start to finish, then they are also equally long. You can't use distance or distant without at least implying some reference points, as explained in the definition.

The road from the highway to the ranch house is 4 miles long

The distance from the ranch to the highway is 4 miles.

Or, related to your example:

As the crow flies, the distance from Red's house to her Granny's house is only a few miles, and both paths to get there are of the same length. However, one path goes up a steep and treacherous stone staircase carved into the side of a mountain, while the other wanders through a wolf-infested forest.

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