taking over the company with body and soul

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Senior Member
Ukrainian & Russian
[P]ersonal development is the new currency in the relationship between companies and employees and is now literally taking over the company with body and soul (p. 3; translated for this edition).
(A Guide to Third Generation Coaching; Reinhard Stelter)

Would you be so kind as to tell me what exactly it is supposed to mean here? (Does it mean 'completely', and if so, is 'with' necessary in this case?)

  • Chasint

    Senior Member
    English - England
    No it is not necessary. In fact I would say it is incorrect to include 'with'.

    Note: the use of 'literally' is incorrect here also.

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    It means "completely" as you say, rather an odd metaphor to choose in my opinion with the proximity in the sentence of the literal bodies and souls of employees. However, since the writer (or maybe the translator) has chosen to use "literally" with a metaphorical meaning (he means "emphatically", or something like it), I would not entirely trust their choice of words in the rest of the piece.

    Like Chasint, I would omit "with". I cannot tell whether it is wrong here; in other circumstances, "with body and soul" is fine.
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