[Ads-l] foment

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Fri Jun 5 11:29:52 UTC 2015

Except that the first ex. is clearly intended to be neutral, while "foment
trouble, discord, etc." would be prejudicial.  "Foment revolution" is
conceivable, but the context makes that interpretation implausible.

And to say, "Gun violence foments trouble, discord, etc." (while
technically true) sounds semantically bizarre.


On Fri, Jun 5, 2015 at 2:07 AM, W Brewer <brewerwa at gmail.com> wrote:

> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       W Brewer <brewerwa at GMAIL.COM>
> Subject:      Re: foment
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> <foment> vt > vi.  Because of the frequent/exclusive collocation of
> <foment> with {trouble, discord ...}, <foment> becomes shorthand for the
> full phrase.
> Cf. <<The cops have left Baltimore to stew (sc. in its own juices).>>
> <<left to rot (on the vine)>>
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

"If the truth is half as bad as I think it is, you can't handle the truth."

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

More information about the Ads-l mailing list