Testify is not a fancy word for test

I recently came across a scientific paper in which the authors (who struggled with the English language quite a bit throughout the text) used “to testify” instead of “to test”. However, the meaning of these two verbs is very different. According to the OED, to testify means either

1. to make a statement that something happened or that something is true, especially as a witness in court

2. to say that you believe something is true because you have evidence of it

3. to express your belief in God publicly.

If you are interested, I previously discussed a different example for the (often unnecessary) use of fancy words in academic writing here.

 

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