Violent agreement

David Bowie db.list at PMPKN.NET
Sun Sep 16 21:33:57 UTC 2007

From:    Michael Quinion <wordseditor at WORLDWIDEWORDS.ORG>

> Might I expose this phrase to the list's collective wisdom?

> A correspondent has asked me about the phrase "violent agreement",
> which he has come across as a business buzzphrase. It seems to have
> three meanings, so far as I can tell from various online usages and
> attempts to define it:

> a) to be in overwhelming or enthusiastic agreement with some
> proposition. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice used it that way
> in a press statement last December.

> b) to spend time arguing about a topic only to find that they actually
> agree but don't realise it because they're coming at the discussion
> from different viewpoints.

> c) of a group who are all after the same goal but have totally
> different ideas how to get there, so that they agree about ends, but
> disagree about means.

> Are members of the list familiar with the expression and in particular
> have they come across the second and third meanings?

For my part, i'm unfamiliar with (b) and (c), but i use (a). To
violently agree means pretty much the same thing to me as to vehemently
agree, but violent agreement is a better parallel to violent disagreement.

David Bowie                               University of Central Florida
     Jeanne's Two Laws of Chocolate: If there is no chocolate in the
     house, there is too little; some must be purchased. If there is
     chocolate in the house, there is too much; it must be consumed.

The American Dialect Society -

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