Wordcraft Community Home Page
Nice versus Kind

This topic can be found at:
http://wordcraft.infopop.cc/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/756604565/m/2040053686

March 16, 2017, 17:27
sattva
Nice versus Kind
I recently was listening to a talk where the person mentioned the difference between nice and kind. It struck me because I have known before people who are nice, but bothered me in some way. When I heard the definition of these two words, I could see the difference. This is the difference.

Nice=pleasant, enjoyable, or satisfactory.
Kind=generous, helpful, and caring about other people.

Kind involves action, and I have known people who are nice, but not kind. They never seem to get to the action part.


"Wishing in gladness and in safety, may all beings be at ease." ~from the Metta Sutta
March 17, 2017, 03:40
Geoff
That's why we sometimes hear people refered to as "nice and kind," though not too frequently nowadays.
March 21, 2017, 06:21
goofy
sattva's intuition of the difference makes sense to me. However "nice" can be used to mean "Kind or considerate in behaviour; friendly (towards others). Freq. in to be nice (to)" as in:
quote:
1993 T. Hawkins Pepper iv. 72 The woman standing next to you is pregnant. It might be a nice gesture to offer her your seat.


"nice" has had a wide variety of meanings, here are some from the OED:

Of a person: foolish, silly, simple; ignorant.

Of a person: wanton, dissolute, lascivious.

Fastidious, fussy, difficult to please, esp. with regard to food or cleanliness; of refined or dainty tastes.

Of a topic of conversation, mode of conduct, etc.: in good taste, appropriate, proper. Usu. in negative contexts.

Pampered, luxurious

Strange, rare, extraordinary.

Shy, coy, (affectedly) modest; reserved.

Not obvious or readily understood; difficult to decide or settle; demanding close consideration; †intricate

Of a person: pleasant in manner, agreeable, good-natured; attractive.

Kind or considerate in behaviour; friendly (towards others). Freq. in to be nice (to)
March 21, 2017, 20:24
Kalleh
Wow, you are right about the wide variety of definitions, goofy. That has always been my understanding of the difference between kind and nice - kind to me, means generous or helpful, while nice can mean that, but a lot more.
March 21, 2017, 23:47
sattva
Good points and definitions, goofy and Kalleh. I still find though that if you tell me that someone is nice, I will probably think they are pleasant and agreeable. I don't naturally assume they are kind meaning generous or caring. They can be used as synonyms but kind is a little more specific. I looked at several of the online dictionaries and actually liked how Cambridge Dictionary approaches the meaning of these two words.

When I say someone is nice, that might mean friendly and generous, but when I say that someone is kind, that doesn't mean they are necessarily agreeable or friendly, but it does mean that they are "generous, helpful, and caring about other people."

I don't know if I am explaining my own inward interpretation well, but here is a link to the two words. I used the American definitions, but you can change it to see the English definitions.

nice
kind


"Wishing in gladness and in safety, may all beings be at ease." ~from the Metta Sutta
March 22, 2017, 20:40
Kalleh
Your understanding is the same as mine, Sattva. I find "nice" to be much more diverse than "kind" is.
April 02, 2017, 19:10
bethree5
A very interesting distinction, sattva.

Regardless of how dictionaries may distinguish between nice and kind.

I think those of us who have been on the receiving end of these two sentiments can easily distinguish. One ("nice") goes along to get along-- it is passive, & suggests a concern w/appearance. The other ("kind") is an active sentiment, requiring some form of action to declare itself.
April 05, 2017, 09:58
sattva
quote:
Originally posted by bethree5:
A very interesting distinction, sattva.

Regardless of how dictionaries may distinguish between nice and kind.

I think those of us who have been on the receiving end of these two sentiments can easily distinguish. One ("nice") goes along to get along-- it is passive, & suggests a concern w/appearance. The other ("kind") is an active sentiment, requiring some form of action to declare itself.


Well put! That is exactly what I was trying to convey, but unable to express! Thanks!


"Wishing in gladness and in safety, may all beings be at ease." ~from the Metta Sutta