So why is this happening?

I don’t understand why Wanikani won’t accept “Point out” when I have suggested it as a User Synonym. In any case it to me is a much more natural way of expressing the concept of pointing than “point to”. What’s going on? Is there some secret ban list?


My guess is it’s on a secret ban list, because “point out” usually doesn’t refer to physically pointing at something, but rather indicating something by verbal mention.

People frequently do say “point to” in English.
“He pointed to the wall”

I’m not a big fan of secret bans overwriting user synonyms, that’s gotten me a couple of times when trying to express an intransitive verb without using the passive voice as WaniKani is wont to do.


Aye, “point out” doesn’t really work here. 指差す means to literally extend a finger and point at the thing, while “point out” does not.

“He pointed at the empty packet of Tim Tams” = he got his finger and pointed
“He pointed out that the packet of Tim Tams was empty” = he brought it up in conversation. Maybe even pointedly.

Only the first would use 指差す. The second is… 指摘する, maybe? Which I admit still uses “finger”, but yeah.


Ideally if you tried to add a ban-list synonym the UI would tell you, with a brief specific explanation of why it’s a bad idea (and then maybe let you go ahead anyway if you really wanted)…


Yes. Sadly you can’t see which items are on the block list. It’s likey to do with the difference in meaning, to point at something is literally pointing your finger at X. Meanwhile, to point out something, means you’re making a clarifying statement or explain about something.

Sure, the phrase can also mean to point out something among something else, but I guess, it’s more confusing than helpful to consider, so they put it on the block list.

I can get behind the blacklisting of “point out,” but I would just say that the figurative meaning of “point out” does have its basis in literal pointing.

“He pointed out the puddle in front of his friend.” This can be done without any words exchanged.

It carries the nuance of pointing to bring something to attention that the other person hadn’t noticed. So it’s not a generic word that applies to all pointing obviously, which is why 指差す doesn’t really fit, even though I would say literal pointing is possible with “point out.”



It occurs to me that Oz has 指差し’d my culinary tastes. Is it possible to survive on a diet of just Tim Tams, meat pies, vegemite, and ginger beer?

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