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Thread: chip away

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    Exclamation chip away

    “The truth is that many of their assumptions about the underlying causes of extremism are flawed. Every fresh terrorist attack “chips away” the idea that foreign policy and socio-economic factors are the sole drivers of Islamist extremism, making the Muslim default position more untenable.” I think the meaning of “chips away” in the above is “to lessen the effect”, “to weaken”. And the “Muslim default” here means cause due to Muslims. Please clarify and confirm.

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    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: chip away

    Chip away- lessen, weaken little by little
    Default position- the standard position they use as an argument/defence

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    Re: chip away

    (There's a missing 'at' in the original.)

    Every fresh terrorist attack chips away at the idea...
    Explanation: there is an idea; each attack does not refute it entirely, but weakens it in a small but progressive way - it 'chips away at' it.

    b

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