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put to the sword

English translation: the organisations destroyed the plan (in some way)

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10:12 Apr 29, 2008
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
Social Sciences - Other
English term or phrase: put to the sword
"the campaign was put to the sword by the organisations". Does this mean that they tested it rigourously, as has been suggested to me, or does it mean that it was discredited by the organisations (my assumption).
Vicky Nash
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:29
English translation:the organisations destroyed the plan (in some way)
Explanation:
'put to the sword' means 'to kill', so here it suggests that the plan was destroyed.

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Note added at 6 mins (2008-04-29 10:19:24 GMT)
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Sorry - I clicked too soon. So, it seems to suggest that the plan was, in some way destroyed - however, whether this was done by discrediting it is difficult to say from the context you provide.

I'd have thought that if it was tested rigorously, as you mention, then possibly it would have been e.g. 'put to the test'; 'put to the trial'; 'put through its paces''.

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Note added at 9 mins (2008-04-29 10:22:08 GMT)
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"put to the sword
To kill; slay."
( http://tinyurl.com/5ez7nd )

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Note added at 13 mins (2008-04-29 10:25:35 GMT)
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"sword
PHRASES
put to the sword kill, especially in war."
( From: The Concise Oxford English Dictionary )
Selected response from:

Caryl Swift
Poland
Local time: 07:29
Grading comment
Thanks to everyone, all your answers helped with my decision. The chosen one just happened to more closely match what the author was trying to say. :)
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
3 +7the organisations destroyed the plan (in some way)
Caryl Swift
4 +1commentKen Cox
3 +1severely tested
Tony M


  

Answers


3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +1
severely tested


Explanation:
...indeed, in some contexts it could even mean 'killed outright' — but certainly, made to suffer, perhaps as a test of endurance...

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Note added at 4 mins (2008-04-29 10:16:35 GMT)
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Hard to tell exactly how it is intended in this highly figurative usage, the overall context will be determining.

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Note added at 4 mins (2008-04-29 10:17:12 GMT)
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I certainly wouldn't interpret it as 'discredited' in the way you have suggested.

Tony M
France
Local time: 07:29
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 148

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Marie-Hélène Hayles: Very odd - I would interpret it exactly as you have done (and we're certainly both NES), yet we would seem to be in a minority...
2 hrs
  -> Thanks, M-H! Yes, odd indeed!
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3 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +7
the organisations destroyed the plan (in some way)


Explanation:
'put to the sword' means 'to kill', so here it suggests that the plan was destroyed.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 6 mins (2008-04-29 10:19:24 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Sorry - I clicked too soon. So, it seems to suggest that the plan was, in some way destroyed - however, whether this was done by discrediting it is difficult to say from the context you provide.

I'd have thought that if it was tested rigorously, as you mention, then possibly it would have been e.g. 'put to the test'; 'put to the trial'; 'put through its paces''.

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 9 mins (2008-04-29 10:22:08 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

"put to the sword
To kill; slay."
( http://tinyurl.com/5ez7nd )

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 13 mins (2008-04-29 10:25:35 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

"sword
PHRASES
put to the sword kill, especially in war."
( From: The Concise Oxford English Dictionary )


Caryl Swift
Poland
Local time: 07:29
Works in field
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 20
Grading comment
Thanks to everyone, all your answers helped with my decision. The chosen one just happened to more closely match what the author was trying to say. :)

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  kmtext: Certinainly from a biblical context, "put the sword" usually meant executed or terminated.
6 mins
  -> T

agree  Jack Doughty
46 mins
  -> Thank you :-)

agree  Dr. Andrew Frankland
49 mins
  -> Thank you :-)

agree  V_N
1 hr
  -> Thank you :-)

agree  LP Schumacher: I like this active sentence structure -- maybe using the verb "quash" or "crush," just so there is no risk of misinterpreting the campaign as having been inadvertently destroyed
2 hrs
  -> Thank you :-)

agree  Will Matter
2 hrs
  -> Thank you :-)

agree  xxxPoveyTrans
3 days4 hrs
  -> Thank you :-)
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1 hr   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +1
comment


Explanation:
IMO you have to decide from the general context whether the author correctly understood the meaning of the expression, which normally means 'kill' or 'exterminate'.

It is certainly possible that the *intended* meaning is 'put to the test', particularly if the author is not an NES.

Ken Cox
Local time: 07:29
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 56

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Will Matter: Also possible, depending on whether the author is or is not NES, just as you've described.
1 hr
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