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Consider the following two sentences.

  1. Doing laundry is a household chore.
  2. Doing laundry is a type of household chore.

I guess the first is more natural, but why? One of the possible explanations might be less is more which seems general, are there any other explanations for this use?

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    I could say that you're a person who asks questions online. For most purposes there's no point in extending that to say you're a type of person who asks questions online. Commented Jul 27, 2022 at 12:12

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English is kind of slippery with such concepts. The difference is whether you want "doing laundry" to be an example of a type, or a sub-type.

Number 1 is indicating that "doing laundry" is an example of a type. Number 2 is indicating that "doing laundry" is a sub-type.

English is not especially careful about keeping these two things distinct. It is, as in this case, not rare for a sub-type and an example to be expressed in ambiguous form.

Consider a less ambiguous example. This ostrich is a bird. An ostrich is a type of bird. These have been made less ambiguous by adding "this" or "an" at the front. The word "this" is specific while the word "an" is not.

You could do something similar. You could write your examples like so.

  1. Doing this load of laundry is an example of a household chore.
  2. Doing a load of laundry is a type of household chore.
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  • Thank you. If I consider "doing laundry" a sub-type, what is its example?
    – PutBere
    Commented Jul 16, 2020 at 1:44
  • “English is kind of slippery with such concepts.” Are other languages different? In English, the name of a category can always be used as a name for a member of the category. Does another language make that distinction? Commented Jul 16, 2020 at 2:01
  • Doing laundry for Wednesday would be an example member of the sub-type doing laundry. Another would be doing a wash of t-shirts. I don't know if other languages have similar types of things. I don't know if you can always use the name of the category as a name for a member.
    – puppetsock
    Commented Jul 19, 2020 at 20:12
  • "English is kind of slippery with such concepts." true, but not specific to English. Natural language is naturally slippery.
    – James K
    Commented Nov 25, 2022 at 19:19
  • Note that in some dialects of English, 'a chore' does not merely mean 'a task'; the word is often used to mean 'an annoying or difficult task'. Commented Nov 25, 2022 at 19:50

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