Distinguishing Between Deputy & Vice

Ever wondered why there are vice presidents, but deputy general managers? And why do we have vice captains but deputy Prime Ministers? This seems to be all confusing with much depending upon usage and precedents rather than any technical reasons. If you think of politics, Vice President is a post that is largely honorific while the exact opposite is seen in the case of Chancellor of a University. Here, it is Vice Chancellor who is more important and does all the work while Chancellor is the titular head of the university. Let us examine a bit more closely.
If we look at a dictionary, we find that a deputy is a person who is appointed to take on the role and responsibilities of his senior in his absence. But then why do we have assistant professors and not vice or deputy professors. But yes, we have assistant managers also deputy managers but not vice managers.
We have the clue in the word deputize that tells us that a deputy is meant to take on the role and responsibilities of his senior if and when required. Deputy Sheriff is a perfect example of this explanation. Though vice also means the same, in practice it is seen that there are a small number of people to whom this word is applied while deputy is meant to be used for a larger number of people. So we have many deputies but only 1-2 vice principals in a college.

Key Takeaways

  • Vice and deputy are used to designate subordinate positions or posts.
  • Whether vice or deputy would be used depends upon convention, and there is no rule to make use of either of these words.
  • So we have vice presidents but deputy sheriffs and vice principal but deputy manager.
Dmitri Ivanov
Dmitri Ivanovhttps://whats-different.com
Dmitri Ivanov, a writer and managing editor, was educated in Canada and holds a BS in Science. Dmitri loves doing research, writing, and teaching various courses.


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