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  1. #1
    vil is offline VIP Member
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    brew/ boil/ plan/ plot

    Dear teacher,

    I have read the following passage in an article in IHT:

    " Answering a question about supposed U.S. intentions to gain control over Russia's huge, resource-rich interior, Putin said: "I know that such ideas are brewing in the heads of some politicians. I think it is a sort of political eroticism which maybe gives someone pleasure but will hardly lead anywhere, and the best example of that is Iraq."

    What do you think about the expression in bold? The meaning is comprehensible for me, but I couldn't see the relationship between "brew" , "boil", "cook", "soak","intention", "fiction", "a cock and bull story","beer", "beverage", "produce", "imbue" without using many different dictionary.

    Could you explain to me the expression as : brew = make muddy, trouble, muddle people minds, cut, plot, plan, brew mischief, a plot is brewing, a storm is brewing, when the ground meaning of brew is only "prepare by brewing and sit or let sit in boiling water so as to extract the flavor"? I know very well that the brewing is the production of malt beverage as beer or ale from malt and hops by grinding and boiling and fermenting the result with yeast. I wonder why this word "brewing" was putted into Putin's mouth. Does this is a hint that the Russian like to drink. Maybe this is a common phrase?

    V.

  2. #2
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Re: brew/ boil/ plan/ plot

    To brew something means to put all the elements together and arrive at a result. You can brew tea, brew trouble, brew a cold, or as in your example, brew an idea.

    No, Putin is not referring to drink, but to the way in which these individuals are planning to achieve their own ends.

    It is a good example of a practical word becoming one that is used to express concept. It is important not to become too involved with details of the practical aspects when reading something of this kind which is concerned with concepts. Metaphorical uses are not uncommon.

  3. #3
    Naamplao is offline Senior Member
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    Re: brew/ boil/ plan/ plot

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Dear teacher,

    I have read the following passage in an article in IHT:

    " Answering a question about supposed U.S. intentions to gain control over Russia's huge, resource-rich interior, Putin said: "I know that such ideas are brewing in the heads of some politicians. I think it is a sort of political eroticism which maybe gives someone pleasure but will hardly lead anywhere, and the best example of that is Iraq."

    What do you think about the expression in bold? The meaning is comprehensible for me, but I couldn't see the relationship between "brew" , "boil", "cook", "soak","intention", "fiction", "a cock and bull story","beer", "beverage", "produce", "imbue" without using many different dictionary.

    Could you explain to me the expression as : brew = make muddy, trouble, muddle people minds, cut, plot, plan, brew mischief, a plot is brewing, a storm is brewing, when the ground meaning of brew is only "prepare by brewing and sit or let sit in boiling water so as to extract the flavor"? I know very well that the brewing is the production of malt beverage as beer or ale from malt and hops by grinding and boiling and fermenting the result with yeast. I wonder why this word "brewing" was putted into Putin's mouth. Does this is a hint that the Russian like to drink. Maybe this is a common phrase?

    V.
    You say that you understand "brewing" of beer and you show this in your description of the process. It is a long process, isn't it? You can brew tea also by placing tea leaves in a teapot, adding hot water and waiting sevreal minutes for the flavour of the tea to enter the hot water.

    Well in English there are several food processes that are used describe human actions, stewing is another one.

    When someone has an idea, brewing in their head, it is not a complete idea at first. They may think about it for a long time, changing it, thinking more until it becomes something they might talk about. So they talk about it to perhaps get someone's opinion and they think about it further. Finally after all this thought they may take action.

    A storm brewing could start as a few clouds that you observe on the horizon. A little later they appear to be larger and darker. Perhaps a cold wind comes from the direction of the cloud. It is not a storm yet, but it won't be long before it is one.

    So.....when Putin said: "I know that such ideas are brewing in the heads of some politicians."

    He is commenting one unspoken ideas that he perceives as occurring in some politicians mind. From the context of the rest of the paragraph, he doesn't think those thoughts are wise and can lead to trouble for everyone.

    Somewhat like watching that storm forming in the distance.

  4. #4
    vil is offline VIP Member
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    Re: brew/ boil/ plan/ plot

    Hi Anglika,

    You managed to clear perfectly the ambiguities about the question, which I have put on table for discussion. You are right. The details of the practical aspects are important, but they shouldn't have overweight by hook and crook. We have to be capable to understand such figure of speech in which a word or phrase, ordinarily designed one thing is used to designate another. We have to be capable to understand such expression as: " a sea of trouble", or "All the world's a stage".

    I have put this question on the table for discussion as a matter of fact, because I have heard this sentence one day before in the flesh from the Putin's mouth. I saw that Putin's speech on the TV and I would have you believe that the original word referring "brewing" was "roving", "roaming", "straying", hovering". There is a considerable difference, which change the meaning in my opinion.

    Thank you for your responsiveness.

    V.

  5. #5
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: brew/ boil/ plan/ plot

    I don't think there's any attempt at a slur in the change of word, but the origibnal Russian words would not sound good in English- if ideas are straying, for instance, they would be going out of the areas where they should be. If ideas were hovering, it wpould sound a bit ominous to me. I imagine that they sought a common term in English that would reflect the meaning in Russian, without any thought of drink. Anyway, vodka is distilled not brewed, isn't it?

  6. #6
    vil is offline VIP Member
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    Re: brew/ boil/ plan/ plot

    Hi Tdol,

    When I were you, I would also do everything in my power to whitewash this obvious blunder. I would put into worlds as far as possible more diplomatic meaning. I sympathize with you in this attempt to free from blame an inapt journalist. Not every journalist desires a Pulitzer reward.

    I agree completely with your arguments concerning the correct choice of the proper words. I have a big disadvantage. I take the bitter with the sweet. I realize the shortly-felt need for mentor. I hope, I have recently found a life-saving serving. Almost every day I feel the close watch on my post, Almost every day, I see the well-judged correction in my post. Almost every day a hear reasonable advices and points. Almost every day I learn new words and expression.

    Thank you and your collaborators.

    V.

  7. #7
    vil is offline VIP Member
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    Re: brew/ boil/ plan/ plot

    Hi Naamplao,

    Thank you for your deep analysis concerning the question which I have put on the table. I have an idea about brewing of beer, distilling of vodka and plum- or grape brandy. I know also the meaning of "soaking", and "saturating".

    I have a notion of about the mentioned of you "food process" "stewing". "Irish stew" is my favor dish. I know naturally it's best made the day before to allow the flavors to blend. Do you catch the sense?

    I know also the term "mash" (for example: an infatuation or act of flirtation), "porridge", "slurry" as well as many others, which in different proverbs in German, Russian and my native language by different context have different meaning and sound very close to this case.

    Thank you for pictorial explanation. I liked especially this parallel between the origin of a storm and the growth of a ill-boding idea. You are right. I have the opportunity to hear the Putin's speech in flesh. I could say that he has commented the words of the Ex-State Secretary of US Madelaine Allbright who questioned the Russian's ownership of Siberia. These words of this short-sighted women could lead to trouble for the whole world.

    I'm pleased to tell you that your elucidations and commentaries are in real earnest welcome to me.

    V.

  8. #8
    Naamplao is offline Senior Member
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    Re: brew/ boil/ plan/ plot

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Hi Naamplao,

    Thank you for your deep analysis concerning the question which I have put on the table. I have an idea about brewing of beer, distilling of vodka and plum- or grape brandy. I know also the meaning of "soaking", and "saturating".

    I have a notion of about the mentioned of you "food process" "stewing". "Irish stew" is my favor dish. I know naturally it's best made the day before to allow the flavors to blend. Do you catch the sense?

    I know also the term "mash" (for example: an infatuation or act of flirtation), "porridge", "slurry" as well as many others, which in different proverbs in German, Russian and my native language by different context have different meaning and sound very close to this case.

    Thank you for pictorial explanation. I liked especially this parallel between the origin of a storm and the growth of a ill-boding idea. You are right. I have the opportunity to hear the Putin's speech in flesh. I could say that he has commented the words of the Ex-State Secretary of US Madelaine Allbright who questioned the Russian's ownership of Siberia. These words of this short-sighted women could lead to trouble for the whole world.

    I'm pleased to tell you that your elucidations and commentaries are in real earnest welcome to me.

    V.
    As much as I am not a big fan of US foreign policy I wonder about the purpose of digging up comments made 7-8 years ago by an ex-government official (Ms. Albright). Everyone seems to be envious of what other people have.

    I point to the result of Global Warming's effect on the potential of a Northwest Passage in The Arctic. All of a sudden, now that it is a possibility, countries (USA and USSR among others) are disputing Canada's sovereignty over land in the high Arctic that has been considered belonging to Canada for centuries....as long as it was viewed as useless.

    But to get back to English I think it is good to summarize some cooking idioms in the English language

    I know that such ideas are brewing in the heads of some politicians.

    Brewing - as we discussed is means that these ideas are developing, changing but basically unspoken for the most part.

    I'll let him stew in his own juices for a while before let him know I forgive him.

    Stewing refers to cooking under heat and pressure. In the above, someone is feeling worried and uncomfortable about doing something wrong to me. I want him to continue to worry for a while before I tell him I forgive him.

    It will take several meetings to distill a proper approach to solve this problem.

    Distillation is a chemical process whereby alcohol (or other chemicals) is separated from a liquid mixture. In the above context, The meetings are required to investigate many many solutions and by consensus a good solution would hopefully be found.

    That is a half-baked idea!

    Half-baked is something not completely cooked. In the above context, it means an idea that has not been completely thought through and thereby is unworkable.

    There are others..

  9. #9
    vil is offline VIP Member
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    Re: brew/ boil/ plan/ plot

    Hi Naamplao,

    I should express my outspoken admirations again concerning your phenomenal English language. Thank you for the abundant stock-in-trade of quoted cooking idioms with so interesting social sounding. I could assure you, your efforts won't be dissipated.

    I,m able to afford to terminate your exquisite series of cooking idioms with two brief words only:

    Well done, Naamplao! Good job!

    For your information I could say that the mentioned article was leaved an imprint in International Herald Tribune only two days ago.

    This idea is brewing in Allbrith's head nowadays. The mentioned speech of Russian president was delivered before the high military only few hours after Putin's home-coming from Iran.

    I am ex-military man, so I I'm trying to take the Earth's pulse at very moment.
    I don't like to read "fermented" newspapers.

    V.

  10. #10
    Naamplao is offline Senior Member
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    Re: brew/ boil/ plan/ plot

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Hi Naamplao,

    I should express my outspoken admirations again concerning your phenomenal English language. Thank you for the abundant stock-in-trade of quoted cooking idioms with so interesting social sounding. I could assure you, your efforts won't be dissipated.

    I,m able to afford to terminate your exquisite series of cooking idioms with two brief words only:

    Well done, Naamplao! Good job!

    For your information I could say that the mentioned article was leaved an imprint in International Herald Tribune only two days ago.

    This idea is brewing in Allbrith's head nowadays. The mentioned speech of Russian president was delivered before the high military only few hours after Putin's home-coming from Iran.

    I am ex-military man, so I I'm trying to take the Earth's pulse at very moment.
    I don't like to read "fermented" newspapers.

    V.
    Well I thank you for the comments on my explanations; but as far as the comments by Ms. Madeline Albright goes I did a google search for them and the only recent references to these comments were Mr. Putin's response to a mechanic from Siberia who posed the question.

    Her comments were made in the year 2000 when she was Secretary of State under the Clinton Administration. She has no influence under the Bush administration to my knowledge.

    But this is not a place for political discussion.

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