"blend together": a set phrase?

Discussion in 'English Only' started by susanna76, Jan 1, 2011.

  1. susanna76 Senior Member

    I'm subscribing to Merriam-Webster's daily word email.

    Today's word was meld (explained as: merge, blend). And here's the sentence they gave:

    "This work is described as a collaborative, interdisciplinary project melding the contemporary visions of a choreographer, a filmmaker, a visual artist, and a fashion designer." -- From a review by Jennifer Edwards on The Huffington Post (huffingtonpost.com), November 24, 2010

    I felt that in this case I would have used "blend together" to express the same idea. And then stopped in my tracks. Why do we use "blend together" and not simply "blend"? "Together" is rather superfluous. But I'm not sure "blend" works on its own as well as "blend together". What do you think?
  2. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    "Blend together" is a rather common redundancy, but nothing as pervasive as "free gift."

    Those of us who are pedantic would not use it.

    I commend you for spotting it. :thumbsup: :thumbsup:
  3. Parla Senior Member

    New York City
    English - US
    I think that in the sentence you've quoted, "blend" could indeed replace "meld" and it would work all by itself, without "together".
  4. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    English - US
    You can blend one thing all by itself (e.g. you can blend milk in a blender) so it follows that you can blend two things together as opposed to separately.
    Blend the milk and the eggs, then stir the milk into the flour and the eggs into the sugar.
    Blend the milk and the eggs together, then put the milk-egg mixture into the bowl.
  5. susanna76 Senior Member

    Thank you all for your thoughts!
  6. Iztim New Member

    No you can't. You ALWAYS blend two or more elements. Whoever wrote down that recipe clearly ignores the meaning of Blend. Check on any dictionary.
  7. loghrat Senior Member

    British English / Danish
    Maybe the definitions need to be updated. How do you describe the action when you put one ingredient in a blender and switch it on ?
    We need a post-invention-of-the-kitchen-blender definition.:)
  8. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    I normally resist adding to the unnecessary rejuvenation of a two-year old thread, but loghrat is spot on.

    If one has a device with the well-accepted name of "blender," what else would one call something going through the process????
  9. Iztim New Member

    The action of putting one (or more than one) ingredient in a blender and switching it on used to be called shaking, that is, when smoothies were called shakes and blenders mixers. At one point the manufacturing industry decided that mixer and shake sounded stuffy and that they needed to refresh the image in order to relaunch sales. Marketing politics, as usual. Nevertheless my 2012 Garzanti-Hazon dictionary still lists the old names as well. And still defines blending as involving TWO or more elements, whether in a literal sense or in a figurative one. I'll let them know you regard this as outdated ;).
  10. JulianStuart

    JulianStuart Senior Member

    Sonoma County CA
    English (UK then US)
    There was a long discussion about the difference between a blender and a mixer here. It also "discussed" the issue of what the operation of such machines is called - specifically what is it called if you operate the blender....
  11. I agree with with those whose say "together" is a redundancy attached to the word blend which already incorporates the idea, but also agree that "blend together" is now a standard stock phrase used in AE recipes and cookbooks above and beyond any reference to machines called blenders. Even when discussing taking a spatula or spoon to by-hand make a mixture, say, of sugar and eggs, "blend the sugar and eggs" would look and sound incomplete to me, whereas "blend the sugar and eggs together" is an instruction to completely incorporate these two not-so-easily-mixed together-ingredients before proceeding further or adding anything else. So in this phrase, "together" is taking on the meaning of completely, and I accept it as a stock phrase idiom not to be broken down into its component parts.
  12. Iztim New Member

    Ahem, I was under the impression we were discussing the redundance of "together" associated to "blend", which is more or less described as the act of mixing two or more elements in a harmonious way. The introduction of the name "blender" to identify the kitchen device has not modified the general definition of the verb on the part of dictionaries, which appear to be less conditionable than the general public. No doubt, if the error (because it is an error) persists, in future dictionaries will have to go along with it. Languages change (evolve?) also by repetition of mistakes, that is, because of general illiteracy...Funny, isn't it?

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