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When you are reading and you want to pay attention to a special word (for example colour_number), do you see the special word and notice how it is formed?

or

…you notice the special word and see how it is formed.

I am writing a how to and the reader should pay attention to a word to then pay attention to how to do something. I do not know if somebody see and then notice, if somebody firstly notice and then see, or if this is a dumb question.

If prefer to see and then to notice because firstly you have to see the word and then realize about that, but the other one sounds good to me.

  • maybe if you see something you will realize and if you notice something you will see? – Pablo Hinojosa Feb 1 '16 at 22:53
  • Are you looking for something like "Please see the second line of page 42 and notice how the verb is conjugated using the past tense." ? – Kevin Feb 1 '16 at 23:06
  • @Kevin no, I am looking please see how the word is formed (actually it is more than one word joined by underscores) and then pay attention because it has a meaning. You have to notice (or realize?) that meaning. – Pablo Hinojosa Feb 1 '16 at 23:21
  • notice requires a bit more attention and you use your cognition to identify the nuance of something. On the other hand, seeing is just seeing. Now, place them wherever you want and the order of your perception changes. – Maulik V Feb 2 '16 at 5:38
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The answer to your question is a but tricky since you are using two different meanings of two different words see and notice

I see the bird
I observe the bird

I see what you are saying
I understand what you are saying

I noticed the bird in the tree
I observed the bird in the tree

I noticed he was bending the rules
I realized he was bending the rules (observed and understood)

First things first: In order to visually notice something, one must first physically see it.

It is possible to

notice the room getting warmer and then see the fire

but this notice is not visual

Notice can mean to casually see

I noticed they came into the room but didn't see what they were doing

In your sentence

do you see the special word and notice how it is formed?

do you see the special word and realize how it is formed?
do you see the special word and understand how it is formed?

because you're using the word notice the reader could honestly answer that they saw and observed the word without understanding it

In your alternative sentence

…you notice the special word and see how it is formed.
...you look at the special word and understand how it is formed

You probably want the reader to (using the imperatives)

See! the special word
Look at! the special word

notice is not an imperative, and then

understand how it is formed
figure out how it is formed

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