Skip to main content

One of the slogans associated with the Fridays for Future movement is "We are unstoppable - another world is possible!" To me this sounds wrong: it sounds like literal translation from German. Shouldn't it be "a different world is possible"? At least for those of us who do not own real estate on Alpha Centauri this is the only world we've got. Thus, since we don't have another one we can move to we have to build a different world here on good ole Earth.

Then again, the slogan "another world is possible" has been in use for quite a while, and it is the title of a 2004 book by American political scientist Susan George, so I must be the one who's mistaken here.

Thanks for any light you can shed on this.


Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

Hello, Chris, and welcome to the Grammar Exchange.

I agree with your objection. My natural interpretation of "Another world is possible" is that it is speaking of a separate world. That said, the use of "another" needed for the intended interpretation is possible. Below is one of the definitions of "another" given in The Oxford English Dictionary (OED):


II. 4. Different in effect; different in character, though the same in substance.

c1275  (?a1216)    Owl & Nightingale (Calig.) 544   ‘Nay, nay,’ sede þe niȝtingale, ‘Þu shalt i-here anoþer tale.’
1382   Bible (Wycliffite, E.V.) 1 Sam. x. 6   Thow shalt be chaungid into another man [so in all versions].
1382   Bible (Wycliffite, E.V.) Gal. i. 6   Another euangelie, which is not another.
1588   R. Bernard tr. Terence Comedies   He is nowe become another man.
1611   Bible (A.V.) Gal. i. 6   An other [Gr. ἕτερον] gospel which yet is not another [Gr. ἄλλο].
1877   L. P. Brockett Cross & Crescent 87   From that time I became another man.


thanks for your fast answer. I have to admit I found the same examples in the trusted old print-version of the Shorter OED in my study. However, a quick, non-scientific survey of the native speakers among my Facebook friends (all Americans) came to the same conclusion I had started out with: 'another' used in this way sounds odd. Maybe we can say that this is a rather archaic or at least old-fashioned usage.

Anyway, my students in English class today (year 11, 7th year ESL) enjoyed comparing dictionaries and trying to come up with their own reasoning.

Again, thanks for your help!


Add Reply

Link copied to your clipboard.