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Р. S. Если Вы видаетесь и увидитесь съ Бернгардомъ Васильевичемъ, то потрудитесь передать ему и семейству его мой сердечный поклонъ.

{instead of}: Р. S. Если Вы видаетесь и увидитесь съ Бернгардомъ Васильевичемъ, то потрудитесь передать ему и семье его мой сердечный поклонъ.

I wonder how these two are nuanced in meaning.

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  • 9
    again, archaic high register vocabulary, in this particular phrase the difference would only be stylistic Sep 16 '18 at 15:47
  • 1
    семейству/семье его is an order in which семейству/семье is stressed, a more natural, relaxed one would be его семейству/семье Sep 16 '18 at 17:11
  • To illustrate the stylistic difference - there is common phrase "Святое семейство" (Holy Family), and nobody use "Святая семья".
    – Toivo
    Oct 2 '18 at 11:57
3

The provided text is an example of old Russian. This is clearly seen by the usage of 'ъ' at the end of many words - modern Russian does not use that. In addition, some forms of words can also indicate the age of the language ('видаетесь' in your example). As you may understand, the process of obsolescence is not instant: some words are never used today ('видаетесь'), some words may be used, being outdated at the same time ('ибо', 'воистину'). Some forms of the same word can be used as absolute synonyms, but it's obvious, that text with true old Russian must contain the old version of the word.

I can add that the word 'семейство' is widely used in math! For example, 'семейство прямых y=5*x+c', 'семейство функций f(x)=k*sin(x)'. Moreover, in daily life, you may find a contrast: modern words make speech more formal, while the old one color speech with some fun: 'И что твоё семейство?)' (some enthusiasm) vs 'И как твоя семья?' (true or/and kind interest) or 'Ибо не следует так делать!' (confidence) vs 'Потому что не следует так делать.' (anger or/and sadness)

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    Not only maths uses the word семейство as a contemporary one, but also biology does the same, which is natural. Лиса принадлежит к семейству псовых.
    – Elena
    Oct 20 '18 at 16:27
-4

This is synonyms. No actual difference

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