Flush Out/Flesh Out

Tue Apr 25 19:39:25 UTC 2006

        A Google search for "flush out" gave this blog entry,
http://www.startupnation.com/blog/entry.asp?ENTRY_ID=124, as the second
choice.  It seems that a distressingly large number of people who
commented on this blog entry do not know the meaning of "flush out,"
which means to drive from a hiding place into the open, as a dog flushes
out quail.  Many of them think it means to purge, like the flush of a
toilet (and if enough think that, I suppose it will come to have that
meaning).  Many simply asserted that "flesh out" is always correct.  Is
this because they live in places where people do not hunt birds?  Like
politics, it seems to be an area where lack of knowledge is no
impediment to providing an opinion.

John Baker

-----Original Message-----
From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf
Of Benjamin Zimmer
Sent: Tuesday, April 25, 2006 2:59 PM
Subject: Re: Campaign to add "concept" as a verb in M-W

> 1. A process whereby ideas are generated for the purpose of creatively

> solving a problem: "The team set aside some time for concepting in
> order to flush out some plausible directions."

So, in addition to concepting pointless dictionary petitions, creatives
are also busy concepting eggcorns...


--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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