blaze away blast away (guns)

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ItBeatsMe

Banned
Russian
The guns of the ship blasted / blazed away
The spy blasted / blazed away until he ran out of bullets

Does they both mean "to fire for a long time"?

Is there any difference between these 2?
 
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  • Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The word 'away' indicates that the action occurred for a substantial amount of time. Consider the following contrasting examples: (EDITED for accuracy)

    The guns of the ship blazed for an instant and then fell quiet.

    The guns of the ship blazed away for ten minutes and then fell quiet.


    Does that help?

    (Cross-posted with cyberpedant who makes a good point)
     
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    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    It does not seen right to me to say a spy blazed away. Sounds as though he is on fire, literally. Maybe the running out of bullets bit is enough to clarify the concept?
     

    Hau Ruck

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Does they both mean "to fire for a long time"?
    'Blazed/blasted away' does not have to mean that it was a long time.

    One could easily imagine 20 men armed with weapons blazing/blasting away all their ammo at once. This could last, perhaps, 25 seconds.

    It can mean a short or long period of time. Context really determines which. When you think 'blaze' or 'blast' away, one thing is certain - there are a lot of bullets. ;)
     

    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    'Blazed/blasted away' does not have to mean that it was a long time.

    One could easily imagine 20 men armed with weapons blazing/blasting away all their ammo at once. This could last, perhaps, 25 seconds.

    It can mean a short or long period of time. Context really determines which. When you think 'blaze' or 'blast' away, one thing is certain - there are a lot of bullets. ;)
    We could easily run into an argument about what constitutes a 'long' time. If two old galleons were blazing away at each other with their cannons, this would typically go on for minutes and maybe even hours.

    If a group of men blaze away using automatic weapons then 25 seconds is a very long time (try timing it on a clock), especially if you are the target!
     

    Hau Ruck

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    We could easily run into an argument about what constitutes a 'long' time. If two old galleons were blazing away at each other with their cannons, this would typically go on for minutes and maybe even hours.

    If a group of men blaze away using automatic weapons then 25 seconds is a very long time (try timing it on a clock), especially if you are the target!
    True, but I more or less meant in regard to all 20 men (my example of course) using one magazine in one go. Regardless of automatic or semi-automic. One 'blaze/blast' away used to describe such a thing. All of them firing as fast and furious as they can til their single magazines were emptied.
     

    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    True, but I more or less meant in regard to all 20 men (my example of course) using one magazine in one go. Regardless of automatic or semi-automic. One 'blaze/blast' away used to describe such a thing. All of them firing as fast and furious as they can til their single magazines were emptied.
    I'm not sure if we are even disagreeing.
    Example 1
    The gunslinger drew his Colt 45. The gun blazed once and his opponent fell dead.

    Example 2
    The rival gangs hid behind crates and blazed away at each other.

    For me 'blaze' indicates a single (or very brief) instance and 'blaze away' indicates a continuous action that lasts for an appreciable amount of time and involves repetition.
     
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