to squash/quash an idea

Discussion in 'English Only' started by GandalfMB, Nov 15, 2015.

  1. GandalfMB

    GandalfMB Senior Member

    Yellow Beach, Bulgaria
    Bulgarian - Yellow Beach
    Hello,
    Since I've seen both used in the collocation above, which one would sound better in: "Our lovely boss squashed/quashed my idea immediately"? I personally prefer "squash". If there's anything that sounds better, I am listening. :)


    Merry Christmas
     
  2. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    As far as I am concerned, the use of "squash" arises from not knowing the correct verb "quash".
     
  3. GandalfMB

    GandalfMB Senior Member

    Yellow Beach, Bulgaria
    Bulgarian - Yellow Beach
    Does it? I didn't know that, to be honest. Here's an example sentence: "He has to say that, of course, because he wants to squash the idea that Lloyds, after the HBOS takeover in 2008, is so big it should be broken up." guardian.co.uk I have been thinking of "reject", which would have a similar meaning.
    Are we accusing them of being ignorant? :D
     
  4. PaulQ

    PaulQ Senior Member

    UK
    English - England
    Perhaps I'm being a little hard. After all, the quote is taken from the Guardian, isn't it... :D To squash is used figuratively/in its extended meaning to include ideas, concepts, etc.

    That said, it the context you give, there is a phrasal verb "to stamp on" - which obviously will involve some squashing - that is used figuratively. "I will stamp on any suggestions that i am not fitted yo be your absolute leader!"

    The OED gives the following and the examples show it has a long use in the meaning we desire:
    Quash: 1. trans. To bring to nothing; to crush; to destroy; to put down or suppress completely; to stifle (esp. a feeling, idea, scheme, undertaking, proceeding, etc.).

    c.1275 Owl & Nightingale (Calig.) 1388 (MED), Wummon is of nesche flesche, An flesches lustes is strong to cwesse [a1300 Jesus Oxf. queysse]. Woman is easily influenced and her bodily desires are resistant to being quashed.
    1948 R. Crompton Family Roundabout viii. 98 At every point she checked Max's love of ostentation, quashing his suggestions of a fountain, an ornamental pond, a second Daimler.

    I think "quash" in your example is better.
     
  5. GandalfMB

    GandalfMB Senior Member

    Yellow Beach, Bulgaria
    Bulgarian - Yellow Beach
    There must be something wrong with the Guardian, I don't know... :D
     
  6. Parla Member Emeritus

    New York City
    English - US
    I agree with Paul: It should have been quash. A lot of people on this side of the pond confuse those words too.
     
  7. GandalfMB

    GandalfMB Senior Member

    Yellow Beach, Bulgaria
    Bulgarian - Yellow Beach
    I am surprised that most of the results that came up included "squash". Is it weird to use it in general? I mean apart from its physical sense. What would you use in this collocation in AE, Parla? As I said, I am open to suggestions.
     
  8. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    For better or worse, our dictionaries here have come to accept squash.:)

    As for me, I tend to treat ideas I regard as silly the way I do flies on a tabletop with a flyswatter. :rolleyes:
     
  9. GandalfMB

    GandalfMB Senior Member

    Yellow Beach, Bulgaria
    Bulgarian - Yellow Beach
    They have, but would you accept it, Mr Graham? If it sounds odd, well...it sounds odd. :) I just came across "stifle", but the site I use has failed me too many times.
     
  10. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    I don't mind the common "squash." I save "quash" for legal terms;

    I'm not seeking to enlist followers in that course of action, however.:)
     

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