excursion - make excursions

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LV4-26

Senior Member
Good afternoon foreras and -ros,

Can I use the word "excursion" in a figurative sense.
For instance, if I'm speaking about a linguistic issue, can I say :
To address this issue exhaustively, we want to make excursions outside the limited scope of linguistics.
?

(Some dictionaries give "digression" as a possible definition, but not all).

Is my sentence correctly formed? Are the verb (make), the plural (excursions) and the preposition (outside) all appropriate?

Also, side question : did nobody ever think of coining the verb "to excursion"?
 
  • panjandrum

    Lapsed Moderator
    English-Ireland (top end)
    The verb form is excurse - yes, it is there in the OED. To be honest, I've never seen it used or even imagined it until now.

    As to the main point, using excursion in this figurative sense - an intellectual excursion - sounds OK and has precedent too.
    Make is fine, I think take would do as well, though it is less directive.
    Plural is fine unless you want to focus on one particular excursion.
    Outside - perhaps beyond - still, outside the scope, beyond the boundary :)

    Digression may be what you mean, but it definitely suggests something to the side of the main direction of your argument, whereas the excursion sounds as if you are deliberately looking for something different but still pursuing your main theme.

    Waffly, waffly .....

    Edit: A late entry - excur is another possible verb form (also in the OED, but further up the page than I looked at first).
     

    cuchuflete

    Senior Member
    EEUU-inglés
    Panj has addressed the verb forms both better and more than I would have dared. He also hit on the key difference between digression and excursion: off to the side vs. a deliberate movement from a main theme.

    To address this issue exhaustively, we want to make excursions outside the limited scope of linguistics.
    ?
    Is my sentence correctly formed? Are the verb (make or take), the plural (excursions) ok and the preposition (outside) all appropriate?
    I also like Panj's suggestion of "beyond" as as alternative to "outside", especially as you are speaking of becoming more exhaustive, and beyond does a better job, for me, of implying an extension of range, rather than a crossing of boundaries.

    "Exhaustively" make me a little uncomfortable. I might use it in debate, as an exaggerated way of saying "more thoroughly". "Want" sounds BE, and perfectly good. AE would more likely say "need".
     
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