_Canvass_ > "examine, pore over, search"

ADSGarson O'Toole adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM
Fri Apr 18 21:52:02 UTC 2014

For me the word canvass is associated with interviewing people to
gather data. I searched for some other examples that do not seem to
involve interviewing people.

Book: The Poet: Book One in the Forest of Fontainebleau Series
Page: 137
Year: 2013
(Google Books Preview)
[Begin excerpt]
The two of them went off to canvass the forest, looking for yarrow,
which Arcenciel described as a useful plant capable of relieving
everything from headaches to digestive ailments,...
[End excerpt]

Book: The Egg of Shi-Low
Author: Robert M. Urban
Page 161
Year: 2009 copyright
(Google Books Preview)
[Begin excerpt]
His eyes again begin to canvass the area around him. There off in the
distance he spots a log. It might work but he can't tell from this
distance. He begins to inch his way over to what he has seen being
careful not to agitate his wounds.
[End excerpt]

Book: Good Roots: Writers Reflect on Growing Up in Ohio
Author: Lisa Watts
Year: 2007
(Google Books Preview)
[Begin excerpt]
She's not sure precisely where it is, so we must canvass the area;
from a high point, I scan the forest with my binoculars, looking for
some pattern of light and shadow, or the pale hint of grass in
sunlight. Patterns: I think one must always look for ...
[End excerpt]

One search phrase I used was "canvass the forest" because I thought
that there would probably be few interviewees in a forest. Here are
some of the matches, but I am not sure how to interpret them. They do
not seem to fit the OED defintions:

Report of the Chief - Forest Service - Page 42
United States. Forest Service - 1887 - ‎Read - ‎More editions
In the absence of means to employ such men the Division has not
undertaken any statistical work, except to canvass the forest
conditions of Tennessee, the State from which one of the "forestry
agents" was appointed. The directions in which ...

Forestry Publications - Volume 20 - Page 88
1909 - ‎Read - ‎More editions
attempt to canvass the forest resources of the U. S. by Prof. F. W.
Brewer (ninth census). 1873 First publication on forest policy by Dr.
J. A. Warder, and by G. P. Marsh, ...

Annals of Bee Culture for 1872: A Bee-keeper's Year-book ... - Page 39
D. L. Adair - 1872 - ‎Read - ‎More editions
... cut away, and where they can assume their natural round bushy
head. Well, we have studied the subject so far as to thoroughly
canvass the forest for two miles around, and find that our ten and a
half acres will contain more trees than ...


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

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