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I feel that the dictionary's definition of 'typical' should be amended. I acknowledge that I may be completely wrong, however.
The definition: "having the distinctive qualities of a particular type of person or thing"
The word 'typical' is used to compare a thing of a certain type to most other things of that same type and concerns non-definitive, non-essential qualities (otherwise it would be redundant, and what would 'atypical' then mean?). A thing that is typical has the most usual qualities of the type in question (the defintion of 'typically' is "usually", and I agree with this). For example, a typical Gibson Les Paul guitar has two humbucker pickups and 22 frets, but there is nothing distinctive about that, since many other guitars (e.g., PRS guitars) normally have two humbucker pickups and 22 frets. 'Characteristic' seems more appropriate than 'distinctive'. Going by the definition of 'distinctive', these are not perfectly synonymous, since 'distinctive' means "characteristic of ONE person or thing, and so serving to distingush it from others". How can a feature serve to distinguish if it is also found in other things? I'm taking "serve to" to mean fulfilling the function of distinguishing by its own, rather than "helps to distinguish". To fulfil the function of distinguishing, a quality must be unique to a thing (either absolutely or within a definite collection of things being considered), I feel.
Also, I think 'distinctive' is commonly applied to objects themselves, meaning something like "very different" or "easily recognisable", rather than only features of things.
I would sincerely appreciate being corrected.