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Well, that was my question.  I am a native speaker, and imd they are
not synonyms, but I try not to assume that my lect is
all-encompassing. Without the historical data I didn't know if the
synonymous use was old and waning, new and waxing, or maybe regional.

Thanks.

On 10/27/06, Aquamarine Demon <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> >>Well, I was looking it up because a correspondent referred to
> "deducting" something from a web page. As he's a non-native speaker, I
> assumed it was an error, but looked it up anyway, and there you go.<snip>
> Note that I was speaking of the latter; I have never seen any examples of
> the former, nor do my dictionaries list "deduct/subtract" as a meaning for
> "deduce".
> The -duc[et] words do seem to form a rather odd constellation, though.<<
>
> According to the lovely online edition of OED that my college lets me use
> for free, decuct and deduce do indeed come from the same Latin root. From
> the entry for deduct:
> "[f. L. deduct-, ppl. stem of L. deducere to lead or bring down or away,
> lead off, withdraw, f. DE- I. 1, 2 + ducere to lead, draw. Cf. DEDUCE: the
> two verbs were formerly to a great extent synonymous, but are now
> differentiated in use, by the restriction of this to sense 1.]
>
> 1. trans. To take away or subtract from a sum or amount. (The current
> sense.) Now said usually of amounts, portions, etc., while subtract is
> properly said only of numbers; but deduct was formerly used also of the
> arithmetical operation."
>
> All the other senses (6 others in total) are marked obsolete. Even without
> OED, though, most native speakers could tell you that deduct and deduce
> are not used in the same way anymore.
>
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-- 
Mark J. Reed <[log in to unmask]>