declare on

Discussion in 'English Only' started by ipipip, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. ipipip Senior Member

    Mandarin Chinese普通话
    With the exception of "declare war on somebody",is there other phrase?

    declare + noun(besides war) + on somebody

    Such as,"declare oath on somebody","declare news on my comrades" and so on.
  2. boozer Senior Member

    Your two examples sound weird to me. I cannot think of anything similar at the moment, though who knows, there might be something. Ha, I ckecked the first few pages with Google results of "declare * on" and the only reasonable alternative I saw was 'declare jihad on'. :D Which is more or less the same, is it not?
  3. Beryl from Northallerton Senior Member

    British English
    Yes, I'm with boozer. You can declare a truce, declare an amnesty on something, declare a moratorium on something, declare an interest in something; but only war's declared on someone, I'd say.
  4. gramman

    gramman Senior Member

    I looked around as boozer did, and perhaps because I'm not as reasonable, I'll offer one possibility: to declare a bounty on someone. I suppose this could be seen as a sort of proxy war.
  5. lucas-sp Senior Member

    English - Californian
    "Declare an embargo on"? "Declare a moratorium on" (Beryl's example, but it seems possible - "Let's declare a culture-wide moratorium on Honey Boo Boo," for instance)?

    Really, this isn't a question about "declare," but a question about nouns that take the preposition "on" and that also can be "declared." The reason "declare news on" doesn't work is because, first, we don't say "tell news on" someone, and, second, because we don't talk about "declaring news."

    And do we actually say "declare war on [somebody]" - or do we say "declare war on [a political entity presumably made up of somebodies]"? I wouldn't say "We declared war on Hitler" but "we declared war on Hitler's Germany."
  6. Beryl from Northallerton Senior Member

    British English
    " to declare a bounty on someone" ... That sounds vaguely familiar to me. Is it very well established in your view? (Nice find if it is! :)) (Cross-posted with lucas)
  7. gramman

    gramman Senior Member

    Of course, it's often expressed as a bounty declared on someone's head or scalp, which could be seen as things, but a person without a head isn't really … viable. Scalping victims, as i understand, are typically dead already, or at least not expected to survive the procedure. References to these body parts may have come about as a way to make transport of evidence required to collect a bounty more feasible.

    To offer information you didn't ask for:
    As to how well established it is, I don't think it's the kind of thing you see much in newspapers or books. Of course, there are bounty hunters, both in the US and the UK, but I expect their targets are declared fugitives with a bounty offered for their capture.

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