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  1. #1
    nyggus is offline Key Member
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    ... come spring

    Hi,

    I have problems with the emboldened clause, taken from Steven Pinker's "The Sense of Style":

    "... it's safer not to travel far, and the local herons have first dibs on the breeding grounds come spring."

    (This whole fragment comes after a colon.) I do understand the what the clause says, but I don't understand the construction, the "come spring" phrase in particular. Could we rewrite the fragment as

    "... it's safer not to travel far, and the local herons have first dibs on the breeding grounds when spring comes"?

    Thanks,
    nyggus

  2. #2
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Re: ... come spring

    Yes, you've got it - 'come spring' is an idiom which means 'when spring comes'.

  3. #3
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: ... come spring

    Write the bolded clause or the clause in bold face. "Emboldened" means "made courageous".
    I am not a teacher.

  4. #4
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    tzfujimino is offline Key Member
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    Re: ... come spring

    Well, I've found this. (Please see definition #2)
    It's not commonly used, I guess.

  5. #5
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    Raymott is offline VIP Member
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    Re: ... come spring

    It's seems that not many of us are familiar with that usage. I've never heard of it either.

  6. #6
    andrewg927 is offline Senior Member
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    Re: ... come spring

    I don't know if I would call it an idiom. I think it is just a common expression.

  7. #7
    nyggus is offline Key Member
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    Re: ... come spring

    Quote Originally Posted by GoesStation View Post
    Write the bolded clause or the clause in bold face. "Emboldened" means "made courageous".
    It was not my invention indeed; around 10 years ago or so my British colleague—an experienced academic writer—told me to use "embolden" in this meaning.

  8. #8
    GoesStation is offline Moderator
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    Re: ... come spring

    Quote Originally Posted by nyggus View Post
    It was not my invention indeed; around 10 years ago or so my British colleague—an experienced academic writer—told me to use "embolden" in this meaning.
    The linked dictionary definition was marked "specialist". Evidently emboldened may be used in the publishing industry. Don't use it elsewhere; say bolded or bold face.
    I am not a teacher.

  9. #9
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: ... come spring

    I have heard embolden used in British English. I use it as a verb and think it sounds OK in Nyggus's post, though I would be more likely to use in bold there.

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