Differences over the constitution have pitted Morsi

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marlo wagdy

Senior Member
Arabic
-Differences over the constitution have pitted Morsi, who is backed by the powerful Muslim Brotherhood.

I can't understand it. Could you guys help me to understand it?
 
  • sdgraham

    Senior Member
    USA English
    -Differences over the constitution have pitted Morsi, who is backed by the powerful Muslim Brotherhood.
    This is not a complete sentence. The expression is "have pitted [someone or something] against" something or someone.

    Surely, there's more.
     
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    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    I don't find the uses of to pit to be particularly common or clear, I would expect to find

    "Someone/something pits someone/something against someone/something."

    However, it is used in this way OED
    trans. Sport. To set (a cock, dog, etc.) in a pit or enclosure for a fight.


    2000 C. F. Price Cock's Spur iii. 49 He pitted Gouger again and stepped away, and the instant he did Gouger sprang and slashed the Traveler deep under one wing.
    So, Differences over the constitution have pitted Morsi, who is backed by the powerful Muslim Brotherhood. =

    Differences over the constitution
    have set/placed Morsi, who is backed by the powerful Muslim Brotherhood, in a position where he must fight.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    I strongly disagree, Paul. The fact that it can be used that way in referring to placing a cock or dog in a pit doesn't mean that it can be thus used for a human being. I agree with Mr. Graham that part of the sentence must be missing.
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Yes, we need the complete sentence before we can go any further, to be sure that we are giving an accurate answer.

    You must also name the source. This is a requirement for every quotation.
     

    Parla

    Member Emeritus
    English - US
    While Cagey was posting, I was Googling. I found the full sentence in a Washington Post article published last Saturday. It's:

    Differences over the constitution have pitted Morsi, who is backed by the powerful Muslim Brotherhood, against a broad coalition of liberals, leftists and Christians, who accuse the Islamists of seeking to entrench their own power and ideology amid a tumultuous transition from authoritarian rule.

    That, I think, along with post #2, explains the situation.
     
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    marlo wagdy

    Senior Member
    Arabic
    While Cagey was posting, I was Googling. I found the full sentence in a Washington Post article published last Saturday. It's: Differences over the constitution have pitted Morsi, who is backed by the powerful Muslim Brotherhood, against a broad coalition of liberals, leftists and Christians, who accuse the Islamists of seeking to entrench their own power and ideology amid a tumultuous transition from authoritarian rule. That, I think, along with post #2, explains the situation.
    Yes this is my source but my question was 'I can't understand the meaning of pitted in this phrase' even with WR dictionary.
     

    Tazzler

    Senior Member
    American English
    Differences over the constitution have caused the two sides to come into conflict with each other. Is that a cleat enough paraphrase?
     

    PaulQ

    Banned
    UK
    English - England
    I don't find the uses of to pit to be particularly common or clear, I would expect to find

    "Someone/something pits someone/something against someone/something."

    [OED example given]

    However, it is used in this way OED So, Differences over the constitution have pitted Morsi, who is backed by the powerful Muslim Brotherhood. =

    Differences over the constitution
    have set/placed Morsi, who is backed by the powerful Muslim Brotherhood, in a position where he must fight.
    I strongly disagree, Paul. The fact that it can be used that way in referring to placing a cock or dog in a pit doesn't mean that it can be thus used for a human being.
    Whereas I did say what I would expect to find as opposed to the somewhat unusual OED construction, I cannot see how your claim that it could only be used with animals could be justified. I assume you would agree that we could 'rein someone in' despite their not being a horse or 'unleash a weapon or emotion' despite neither being a dog.

    That there was more to the sentence, does not conflict with the OED usage.
     

    wandle

    Senior Member
    English - British
    Yes this is my source but my question was 'I can't understand the meaning of pitted in this phrase' even with WR dictionary.
    You can replace the word 'pitted' in the original sentence with the simple word 'set', to express the idea in basic terms.

    Thus instead of: 'have pitted Morsi .... against a broad coalition' you can say: 'have set Morsi .... against a broad coalition'

    To express the original idea more precisely, you can replace 'pitted' with 'placed .... in contention'.

    Thus instead of: 'have pitted Morsi, who is backed by the powerful Muslim Brotherhood, against a broad coalition'
    you can say: 'have placed Morsi, who is backed by the powerful Muslim Brotherhood, in contention against a broad coalition'.
     
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