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Thread: BOYCOTT x ?

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    #1

    BOYCOTT x ?

    Each questions below consist of word printed in capital letters, followed by five lettered word or phrases. Choose the word or phrase that is most nearly opposite in meaning to the word in capital letters.
    Since some questions require you to distinguish fine shades of meaning, be sure before deciding which one is best.
    BOYCOTT : ____________.

    1. Extort
    2. Underwrite
    3. Underbid
    4. Stipulate
    5. Patronize

    My attempt :

    Boycott means to refrain from participation as a part of strike or disapproval.
    Underwrite means sign and accept liability under(an insurance policy), thus guaranteeing payment in case loss or damage occurs
    extort is obtaining by force
    underbid means make a lower bid
    stipulate means demand a requirement as a part of an agreement
    patronise means speak in a way you are superior to the listener.

    By analysing the meanings, my answer was "underwrite". As that is the only word that has a tint of "approval".

    But given answer is patronise. I cant see how it is opposite of boycotting.

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    #2

    Re: BOYCOTT x ?

    Click here and see definition #1.

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    #3

    Re: BOYCOTT x ?

    There are two meanings of the word "patronise". One is the definition you gave and the other means "to be a customer of/to do business with". It comes from the fact that you are a "patron" of a business if you buy from them or use their services.

    There's a great cocktail bar in town. I patronise it quite regularly.

    Other than by context, it's impossible to tell them apart when written. When spoken, they are pronounced differently. Talking to someone as if you are superior to them is pronounced "pat-ruhn-eyes-ing". Being a customer/user of a business is pronounced "pay-truhn-eyes-ing" (sorry, I don't do phonetic symbols).

    Now that you know the second meaning, can you see how it is it the opposite of "boycott"?

    Edit: I posted this before realising that Rover's response in post 2 was sitting in moderation. It should now be visible.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #4

    Re: BOYCOTT x ?

    Didn't knew about this meaning

    Thanks both of you.

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    #5

    Re: BOYCOTT x ?

    Matrix, you're asking a fair question. Your answer makes sense, and none of the choices offered are exactly right.

    "Boycott" doesn't just mean "don't patronize." When we boycott a store or product, we're usually taking part in something a large number of people are doing together intentionally.

    So "Underwrite" is a good choice. It's more than just patronizing. It publicly expresses approval - just as boycotting is a way of publicly expressing disapproval.

    But there is no opposite of "boycott." Words that come close include "promote" and "endorse" - and "underwrite"! None of those are necessarily group activities, but they're more intentional than just patronizing.

    So though "patronize" is good, I like "underwrite" better, too.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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    #6

    Re: BOYCOTT x ?

    Patronize is most nearly opposite to "boycott". Underwrite doesn't work at all for me. While there's generally a political or personal reason for systematically refusing to patronize a business, that refusal is what a boycott primarily consists of.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #7

    Re: BOYCOTT x ?

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertJ View Post
    Another vote here for 'patronizing'. 'Underwriting' does not necessarily express approval. In fact, it could be just the opposite. The underwriter of an IPO (initial public offering) must expressly state by law that its capacity as an underwriter must not be considered as a recommendation to buy the shares of such public offering. The underwriter, or underwriters as a team, must be totally neutral.
    I get it.

    But I'm talking about another meaning of underwrite. Underwrite has more than one definition, just as patronize does.

    I used to work for a non-commercial radio station. To underwrite a broacast program is to sponsor it. Underwriters paid to have their business names attached to the radio programs. To underwrite a program is to promote it, support it, and be publicly identified with it.

    Neither underwrite or patronize is the opposite of boycott. To boycott isn't simply to buy something else or shop somewhere else. I don't eat at MacDonalds, but that doesn't mean I'm boycotting it. To boycott is to take an intentional public stand against something with the purpose of changing or defeating it. To underwrite is to take a public stand for something with the purpose of maintaining or advancing it.

    To be clear, I'm not saying you're wrong or that patronize is the wrong answer. I'm just saying that (a) underwrite isn't wrong, either, and (b) I actually prefer it because it's public, it's intentional, and it aims to have an impact.

    It's a trick question. English doesn't have an opposite of boycott. So if I were the teacher, I'd accept either answer.
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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    #8

    Re: BOYCOTT x ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    I get it.

    But I'm talking about another meaning of underwrite. Underwrite has more than one definition, just as patronize does.

    I used to work for a non-commercial radio station. To underwrite a broacast program is to sponsor it. Underwriters paid to have their business names attached to the radio programs. To underwrite a program is to promote it, support it, and be publicly identified with it.

    Neither underwrite or patronize is the opposite of boycott. To boycott isn't simply to buy something else or shop somewhere else. I don't eat at MacDonalds, but that doesn't mean I'm boycotting it. To boycott is to take an intentional public stand against something with the purpose of changing or defeating it. To underwrite is to take a public stand for something with the purpose of maintaining or advancing it.

    To be clear, I'm not saying you're wrong or that patronize is the wrong answer. I'm just saying that (a) underwrite isn't wrong, either, and (b) I actually prefer it because it's public, it's intentional, and it aims to have an impact.

    It's a trick question. English doesn't have an opposite of boycott. So if I were the teacher, I'd accept either answer.
    Thanks for giving me the insight. I never thought that way after I got the confirmation for the official key.

    This question was taken from verbal section of an engineering entrance test, So it can be ambiguous as its not an english based test.
    Last edited by matrixone; 12-Mar-2017 at 09:13.

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    #9

    Re: BOYCOTT x ?

    Quote Originally Posted by matrixone View Post
    Thanks for giving me the insight. I never thought that way after I got the confirmation for the official key.

    This question was taken from verbal section of an engineering entrance test, So it can be ambiguous as its not an english based test.
    You're welcome!
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

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    #10

    Re: BOYCOTT x ?

    Quote Originally Posted by matrixone View Post
    Thanks for giving me the insight. I never thought about it that way after I got the confirmation for ​from the official key.

    This question was taken from the verbal section of an engineering entrance test, ​so it can might be ambiguous as it's not an English-based test.
    See my corrections above.
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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