February 01, 2013
viewpoint (noun)
\VYOO-poynt\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: a way of looking at or thinking about something : a position from which objects or principles are viewed and according to which they are compared and judged
How do you use it?
"Sunday dinner isn't sunny/ Easter feasts are just bad luck/ When you see it from the viewpoint/ Of a chicken or a duck." (Shel Silverstein, _Where the Sidewalk Ends_)
Are you a word wiz?

Take a look at the sentences below. Which one do you think uses "viewpoint" correctly?

The way we see it, A is the right answer! In sentence B the woman in the hat is the "focal point," not the "viewpoint," of the painting. "Focal point" means "a center of activity, attraction, or attention." In sentence C, Julia's scoring is the point at which a significant change occurred in the game, so "turning point" is the correct word. And in sentence D, "vanishing point" should be substituted for "viewpoint" since a vanishing point is the point at which something disappears or ceases to exist. Incidentally, two terms that mean the same thing as "viewpoint" are "standpoint" and "point of view."
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