2016/12/23 I was mistaken about the meaning of the word "relevant"

The first time I learned the word, it was taught that it means "関連した." So, I understood it, thinking implicitly that it means "having a relationship to."

While I was a high school student, that understanding caused no problems. I could read and make sense of sentences containing the word and also write ones using it. But lately I have often been confused when I came across this word. There have been many cases where the translation of it into the Japanese phrase "関連した" doesn't enable me to figure out what the author tries to convey with the adjective. Being a lax reader and (un)fortunately able to leave what I cannot understand as it is, I didn't care about the confusion I felt and continued reading.

But today, the moment came when I was inspired with the true understanding of the word. It was when I was reading a book called Psychiatry and Philosophy of Science, written by Rachel Cooper, who has written several books about philosophy of psychiatry.

The sentence was this:

To summarize, for the results of an RCT to be generalizable, the subject population needs to be relevantly similar to the population that will be treated with the drug. 


As this sentence is intended as the summary of the previous part, this allowed me to think of the adverb "relevantly " with what she had said in the section in my mind. It occured to me that this word indicates not just a relationship, but rather a significant relationship. That is, this word means "having a significant relationship with the subject matter." And after this inspiration, I looked it up in OALD. It says:

relevant adj. 1 closely connected with the subject you are discussing or the situation you are thinking about

This experience reminded me of the importance of consulting a dictionary of English in which the meaings are explained in English.


Psychiatry and Philosophy of Science (Philosophy and Science)

Psychiatry and Philosophy of Science (Philosophy and Science)