My negative self talks are 'plaguing' my pursuit of my music dream

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jacdac

Senior Member
Lebanese
Is this the correct use of the verb plague?

My negative self talks are plaguing my pursuit of my music dream.

Thanks in advance.
 
  • perpend

    Banned
    American English
    Hmmm ... I see it the other way. "plague" sounds natural to me.

    I'd use "self-talks". I'd also probably say "getting in the way" rather than "plague".

    Would you say "plagues my conscience", Glen?
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    I guess I'm saying that "one's self-talks could plague one's pursuits", if you see what I mean.

    I can't see why not, as long as it's not bubonic.
     

    jacdac

    Senior Member
    Lebanese
    is this better said?

    My negative self-talks plagued my psyche over a long period of time.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    I'm in the Glenfarclas camp on this one. :) Something doesn't plague a pursuit, in my opinion. The pursuit is not something that can experience torment. The person can experience torment that hinders his pursuits. It's the combination of the words that just doesn't feel right, in the same way that "my doubts plague my dream of becoming an Olympic athlete". I don't see how doubts can plague a dream.
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    is this better said?

    My negative self-talks plagued my psyche over a long period of time.
    That sound completely idiomatic to me.

    If "to plague" is transitive, than anything under the sun can be plagued, even an emoticon. :confused:

    Why can't a pursuit be plagued?
     
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    JamesM

    Senior Member
    I wish I could be clearer in my expression of the concern.

    First, I don't think it's all true that any transitive verb can be followed by any noun and have it make sense. "I taught the car a spare tire" doesn't make any sense.

    "My doubts tormented my job" also doesn't make sense to me. How is the job itself tormented by my doubts? The job is not the object of the torment. "I was tormented by doubts about my job" makes perfect sense to me.
     

    perpend

    Banned
    American English
    I was tormented by doubts about my job.
    I was plagued by doubts about my job.

    Are they both okay for you, James?

    If we start prescribing which nouns can follow a transitive verb, then...anarchy. :eek:

    Until then, "self-talks can plague pursuits" in my little corner of the world.
     

    jacdac

    Senior Member
    Lebanese
    According to my Australian Pocket Oxford Dictionary, plague also means 'afflict, hinder' in addition to your stated definition 'annoy, torment'.

    It is with this meaning in mind that I constructed my sentence under review. Am I incorrect the choose the second meaning ? Or is it that the second meaning is not ubiquitous?
     

    DonnyB

    Sixties Mod
    English UK Southern Standard English
    Is this the correct use of the verb plague?

    My negative self talks are plaguing my pursuit of my music dream.
    That use of "plague" works for me. :)

    Oxford Dictionaries Online defines plague as Cause continual trouble or distress to, giving as examples:
    -Residents living near an Accrington park that has been plagued by young troublemakers are being urged to reclaim it.
    -Neighbours claim the road is plagued by youths causing trouble and today called for extra police patrols.
    -The troubles that plagued it during filming may well end up helping it at the box office.

    Perhaps the sentence would sound better in the passive voice?
    "The pursuit of my music dream is being plagued by negative self-doubts."
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I was plagued by doubts about my job.
    You are the one who is plagued, not your job.
    I was plagued by doubts about my job. :tick:
    My job was plagued by doubts about me. :eek:

    My horse jumped over a rock. :tick:
    A rock jumped over my horse. :eek:

    Rocks can't jump. Jobs can't be plagued.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    That's my general feeling, too, Myridon, but a construction project can be plagued by accidents, for example. I think it's much more common to see it applied to a person but there are cases where it is an inanimate object or an intangible thing like a construction project.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    That's my general feeling, too, Myridon, but a construction project can be plagued by accidents, for example.
    I'm trying to support your argument here that some words work and others don't. ;)
    Perhaps "construction project" works because a construction project includes the people involved in it. I doubt that a construction project can be plagued by doubts.
     

    JamesM

    Senior Member
    Good point, but pursuit of a dream also involves a person. It still sounds odd to me. I can see someone's career being plagued by missteps, for example, but a pursuit plagued by self-doubts still sounds a little strange to me, even in the passive.

    Take, for example, this:

    "The suspect fled on a stolen motorcycle. The officers' pursuit was plagued by second-guessing and wrong turns, and the suspect eventually got away."

    I just don't see the pursuit being plagued by second-guessing. The execution of the pursuit, maybe, but not the pursuit.
     
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