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    #1

    can a thing be a culprit?

    "The article of a famous journalist was the culprit of a huge scandal." OK?

  1. Route21's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: can a thing be a culprit?

    Hi ostap77

    The dictionaries I've checked relate "culprit" to a person, rather than a thing, as you say.

    That having been said, though, we sometimes tend to personify objects.

    An example might be when investigating the cause of, say, a plane crash, the investigators may well pinpoint the cause to a small, detailed component that failed. It's highly likely that they would say that they had "found the culprit".

    Hope this helps
    R21

    PS I wouldn't personally have used the word "culprit" in your example - I would have more likely said "trigger", as it appears to have been a natural follow-on rather than something that was found out later following an investigation.

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