To glean


New Member
Català i castellà

I'm catalan, and reading a text from a korean guy I found "to glean" (which is a new word to me) used like this:
... it is always a tricky thing TO GLEAN a country BY the way it is depicted in a TV show.
As I have looked it up in the dictionary, I have seen that it is used along with the preposition FROM. So, my questions are: is it correct to use by instead of from? Does it have the same meaning?

I will be greatful if somebody can answer me.
  • MilkyBarKid

    Senior Member
    British English
    It is the verb 'glean' that is used inappropriately here.

    glean: extract information from various sources.

    The writer is actually talking about 'really understand a society (i.e. 'country') from ...'


    Senior Member
    I agree with MilkyBar that this is not a good use of the word glean. It's true that "from" is often used with glean but not always. The actual problem here is that you don't glean a country. Gleaning means pick up/gather. You glean information. You glean facts. You can glean wheat from a field. But gleaning a country just doesn't make sense.

    If I had to use glean here I would say: It is always a difficult thing to glean information about a country by watching the way it is depicted on a television show."
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