Discussion in 'English Only' started by Xavier da Silva, Dec 7, 2018 at 1:19 PM.

  1. Hello everyone,

    Does "radicalize" meaning "do something you normally would not do, something a little extreme considering" in the examples that I created below?

    a. John decided to radicalize. Now he's had his hair shaved, got two large tattoos on his back and arms and is wearing piercing.
    b. I'll radicalize now. I'll dance all night long, won't sleep and then will go to the beach and drink a lot of beer. Then I'll dance all night again. After all, I'm tired of my old ordinary life.

    Thank you in advance!
  2. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    English English
    Hullo Xavier. :eek:In the UK it means nothing like that. It's a transitive verb, for a start, and means "to make radical or more radical, especially in politics". In particular, it means "to make more Muslim, transform into a Muslim extremist".
  3. kentix

    kentix Senior Member

    English - U.S.
    Yes, those examples are completely wrong. Usually it's a description of someone else and usually it's about politics, directly or indirectly.

    John became radicalized after seeing the effect of the government's policies on the indigenous people.

    That means John was willing to do more extreme things than regular people would normally do to help fight what he considered to be a problem. John wouldn't have done those things in the past but now he's willing to.
  4. coiffe

    coiffe Senior Member

    English (USA)
    ewie makes an interesting point about its being a transitive verb. But I think we have many examples of adjectives (here, "radical") being transformed into verbs in offhand, informal speech, and even changing from transitive to intransitive. The transformations may even become perfectly official and mainstream (e.g. "antagonistic, antagonize, antagonized"). This writer is clearly testing the waters, here, and I think using "radicalize" as an intransitive verb is part of his boldness (his radical writing LOL).
  5. ewie

    ewie Senior Member

    English English
    :thumbsup: In the UK it goes ~ transitive: radicalize; intransitive: become/be radicalized ... at the moment:)
  6. coiffe

    coiffe Senior Member

    English (USA)
    I know you're right, ewie, and I'm searching my head to find the example that's in there somewhere quite loud and quite clear, but unrecognizable (it wasn't "antagonized" -- maybe "euthanized"? -- examples of -ize verbs that can be both transitive and intransitive. Victimize, satirize, publicize, idealize ...
  7. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    English - England
    Satirize, and idealize can be transitive or intransitive.
  8. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English
    I could not locate an etymology for "radicalize" online. I suspect it is a fairly recent (last 25 - 50 years) backformation. Does anyone have any information on that?
  9. Edinburgher Senior Member

    German/English bilingual
    OED gives the etymology as deriving from the adjective radical.

    It has citations for both the intransitive (To become radical, esp. in political outlook; to uphold or espouse radical principles.)
    and transitive (To make radical, esp. politically; to imbue with radical principles.)
    meanings dating back to the 1820s.
  10. bennymix

    bennymix Senior Member

    Ontario, Canada. I grew up in US.
    English (American).
    With respect, I don't see any 'testing the waters'; such talk and usage has been around for several decades in AE. I don't see the 'intransitive' issue. 'Radicalize' works like 'crush;
    Experience crushed Bill's morale. Bill's morale was crushed (by his experience).
    Experience radicalized Bill*. Bill was radicalized (by his experience).

    *Meaning, made Bill into a radical, one of extreme political views.

    **Here's a question I'm sure the grammarians have discussed. Lots of fundamentally transitive verbs can be put into a passive that is elliptical. Does that mean the verb, in such cases is intransitive?

    Example. 'Say' meaning to utter words, transitive.

    She said goodbye => "'Goodbye' was said."
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018 at 4:36 PM
  11. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English
    Thanks for that.

  12. Thank you all very much.

    Since "radicalize" is wrong. Could you please help me with a suggestion that fits my examples from the O.P. in place of "radicalize"?

    Thank you in advance!
  13. manfy Senior Member

    German - Austria
    "To go rogue" might work in sentence a), i.e. "John decided to go rogue".
    Of course, whether you're considering a couple of tattoos and piercings as 'going rogue' depends completely on what you think is or should be normal!! :rolleyes:

    PS: But if you're set on the adjective radical, you could say "John decided to have a radical change." and "I'll do something radical now. I'll dance all night long, ...".
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018 at 5:22 PM
  14. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English

    Grow defiant.
    Be defiant.

    "Contumacious" could work, but it would definitely brand the writer as "weird", or prententious (this, from a truly contumacious WR member:)).

    From Dictionary.com

    [kon-too-mey-shuhs, -tyoo-]
    See more synonyms for contumacious on Thesaurus.com
    1. stubbornly perverse or rebellious; willfully and obstinately disobedient.
  15. Thank you very much.

    I think ''I'll do something radical'' sounds good.

    Edit: Thank you very much, Packard.
  16. Question:

    Does "go radical" sound natural/correct in my O.P (do something you normally would not do, something a little extreme, very different considering)?

    Thank you in advance!
  17. manfy Senior Member

    German - Austria
    I'd rather not use that expression!
    To my non-native ear it causes legitimate reason for concern.
    The phrase "I do something radical now" within the normal everyday context is similar to "I do something dramatically different now" or the casual "I do something crazy now".
    But when I hear "I go radical now", similar to "I go crazy now", I might get the feeling that it's about time to look for cover! :eek: Of course, context - verbal and non-verbal - plays a big role, but the general idea is still correct, I think.
  18. Thank you.

    I looked up "do something radical" on Youglish and it does seem better than "go radical".
  19. bennymix

    bennymix Senior Member

    Ontario, Canada. I grew up in US.
    English (American).
    John decided to become a radical. Simple. 'a' is optional.
  20. Thank you very much.

    I like "become radical".

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