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Thread: stalking horse

  1. #1
    vil is offline VIP Member
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    Default stalking horse

    Hi teachers,

    I wander, if I might put a sign of equality between the well known "Trojan horse" and the new for me term "stalking horse".

    The ground meaning of the term "stalking horse" is "something used to cover one's true purpose.

    According the Homer's Iliad, the Greeks built a large hollow wooden horse in which a small group of warriors were concealed. The other Greeks appeared to sail for home, leaving behind only the horse. Despite the warnings of Cassandra, the horse was taken within city walls. At night the Greeks returned; her companions crept out of the horse and opened the city gates, an Troja was destroyed. This brief description of the backstage manifest us that the two terms might be used interchangeable.

    Would you help me to settle this question?

    V.

  2. #2
    Naamplao is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: stalking horse

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Hi teachers,

    I wander, if I might put a sign of equality between the well known "Trojan horse" and the new for me term "stalking horse".

    The ground meaning of the term "stalking horse" is "something used to cover one's true purpose.

    According the Homer's Iliad, the Greeks built a large hollow wooden horse in which a small group of warriors were concealed. The other Greeks appeared to sail for home, leaving behind only the horse. Despite the warnings of Cassandra, the horse was taken within city walls. At night the Greeks returned; her companions crept out of the horse and opened the city gates, an Troja was destroyed. This brief description of the backstage manifest us that the two terms might be used interchangeable.

    Would you help me to settle this question?

    V.
    A Trojan horse is a quite common idiom, especially in a computer sense, being a bad thing made to look like something good.

    I have never heard of a "stalking horse". Stalking means to walk quietly, tracking a prey. I don't see a horse as a hunter.

  3. #3
    vil is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: stalking horse

    Hi Naamplao,


    I will begin with a proverb. "No man is wise at all times."

    And then another: "A fool may give a wise man council."

    Thank you for your diffident attempt to acquaint me with the Trojan horse
    in a computer sense. I am well ground about this theme as I am by the way an electronic engineer. Please don't wander from the subject.My question was about Homer's Trojan horse and you speak me about Trojan horse in a computer sense.

    I am pleased to tell you, the native English speaker, something unknown for you.


    Please read below:

    stalking-horse (stô'kĭnghôrs')
    n.
    1. Something used to cover one's true purpose; a decoy.
    2. A sham candidate put forward to conceal the candidacy of another or to divide the opposition.
      1. A horse trained to conceal the hunter while stalking.
      2. A canvas screen made in the figure of a horse, used for similar concealment.

    The term stalking horse originally derived from the practice of hunting, particularly of wildfowl. Hunters noticed that many birds would flee immediately on the approach of humans, but would tolerate the close presence of animals such as horses and cattle.
    Hunters would therefore slowly approach their quarry by walking alongside their horses, keeping their upper bodies out of sight until the flock was within firing range. Animals trained for this purpose were called stalking horses. Sometimes fake pantomime horse -style outfits would be used.

    Have you heard something about the term "decoy"?

    decoy ('koi', dĭkoi')
    n.
      1. A living or artificial bird or other animal used to entice game into a trap or within shooting range.
      2. An enclosed place, such as a pond, into which wildfowl are lured for capture.
    1. A means used to mislead or lead into danger.
    Do you know something about the expression "take the point"? In some cases it has replaced the idiom "stalking horse".


    You might learn many different, new terms in order don't use in future the sentence "I have never heard". Better late than never. Consult experience rather than age.


    V
    Last edited by vil; 20-Oct-2007 at 19:16.

  4. #4
    Anglika is offline No Longer With Us
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    Default Re: stalking horse

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Hi teachers,

    I wander, if I might put a sign of equality between the well known "Trojan horse" and the new for me term "stalking horse".

    The ground meaning of the term "stalking horse" is "something used to cover one's true purpose.

    According the Homer's Iliad, the Greeks built a large hollow wooden horse in which a small group of warriors were concealed. The other Greeks appeared to sail for home, leaving behind only the horse. Despite the warnings of Cassandra, the horse was taken within city walls. At night the Greeks returned; her companions crept out of the horse and opened the city gates, an Troja was destroyed. This brief description of the backstage manifest us that the two terms might be used interchangeable.

    Would you help me to settle this question?

    V.
    I don't think they are synonymous.

    The Trojan Horse was not a stalking horse. It was the container in which the Greeks hid to achieve their aim of entering Troy.

    To have been a stalking horse, it would need to have drawn the Trojans out of the city and far enough away for the Greeks to have entered it without opposition.

    A stalking horse might be a person who is loudly and visibly promoting something to remove attention from the real purpose of a second person.

  5. #5
    Naamplao is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: stalking horse

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Hi Naamplao,

    I will begin with a proverb. "No man is wise at all times."

    And then another: "A fool may give a wise man council."
    Since we seem to be in the mood for wise sayings I will quote one for you

    Better to keep your mouth shut and be thought a fool than to open it and remove all doubt. -- Mark Twain

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post

    Thank you for your diffident attempt to acquaint me with the Trojan horse
    in a computer sense. I am well ground about this theme as I am by the way an electronic engineer. Please don't wander from the subject.My question was about Homer's Trojan horse and you speak me about Trojan horse in a computer sense.
    If you insist on using $5 words in your language at least use them correctly.

    Diffident means shy, excessive lack of self-confidence

    My response to your original post was definitely not diffident. My comparison of the use of the word Trojan horse in computer terms in no way strays from the common usage of the idiom.

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    I am pleased to tell you, the native English speaker, something unknown for you.

    Please read below:

    stalking-horse (stô'kĭnghôrs')
    I am sure you feel very full of yourself in your quest to educate the native English speaker. I admitted freely that I had not heard of the idiom "stalking horse". I admitted my ignorance. I have never claimed to know everything.

    I bow to your skill at presenting me with a dictionary meaning.

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post

    Have you heard something about the term "decoy"?
    Oh,yes...master...My education does extend to common English words

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    You might learn many different, new terms in order don't use in future the sentence "I have never heard". Better late than never. Consult experience rather than age.
    Hahahahaha....now look who is taunting!!! Be careful, Vil. In English I am better armed than you.

    As for your initial question, now that I know what "stalking-horse" means I would say that decoy and stalking horse they are not synonyms.

    Frankly I am not alone in not understanding what stalking horse means. I doubt that 5% of the English speaking population understands the meaning of this phrase. However, virtually 100% of the English speaking population understands the word decoy....but then you enjoy $5 words, don't you?

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: stalking horse

    OK, this thread is turning unpleasant. Please do not, even through proverbs, call people fools. It really doesn't make for a pleasant forum. This is a place for discussion and debate, not point scoring. Things quickly descend into a form of insult ping pong and it sours everything.

    Thank you

    PS 'Stalking horse' can be used in politics when a candidate with little or no chance of winning puts themselves forwards to start things going and make trouble for the other side before the true candidate emerges.

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