_Canvass_ > "examine, pore over, search"

Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Wed Apr 16 00:57:35 UTC 2014

On Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 8:12 PM, Jonathan Lighter <wuxxmupp2000 at gmail.com>wrote:

> "canvass the area"

That's a clip of "canvass, i.e. "interview," the [residents of] the area
[to see what, if anything, they know about the crime]." Since deserts are
called "deserts" because they're deserted, I can't wrap my mind around the
concept of "canvassing" a desert to see what, if anything, it knows about
the  location of the body of a murder victim or for anything else that it
may know. Others may not have this problem.


All say, "How hard it is that we have to die!"---a strange complaint to
come from the mouths of people who have had to live.
-Mark Twain

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

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