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  1. Member
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    #1

    “co-opt” and inferences

    If someone has been co-opted into a group, is he or she necessarily a member of it?


    The Collins Cobuild dictionary has the following definition:


    If someone is co-opted into a group, they are asked by that group to become a member, rather than joining or being elected in the normal way.


    E.g. He was co-opted into the Labour Government of 1964.


    This description does not tell us whether the person in question was a member of the Labour Government of 1964.


    However, the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary defines "co-opt" as follows:


    to make sb a member of a group, committee, etc. by the agreement of all the other members


    This definition would allow us to infer that the person was a member.


    Which is correct?

  2. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: “co-opt” and inferences

    They have invited that person to be a member of the group. If their invitation is accepted that person is a member of the group.
    Not a professional teacher

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    #3

    Re: “co-opt” and inferences

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post
    They have invited that person to be a member of the group. If their invitation is accepted that person is a member of the group.
    Is it correct for Oxford's definition to presume the person accepted the offer?

  4. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: “co-opt” and inferences

    Macmillan and Longman give a similar definition.

    "to make that person a member"—quoted from https://www.macmillandictionary.com/...british/co-opt
    "to make somebody a member"—quoted from https://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/coopt
    I am not a teacher.

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    #5

    Re: “co-opt” and inferences

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    Macmillan and Longman give a similar definition.

    "to make that person a member"—quoted from https://www.macmillandictionary.com/...british/co-opt
    "to make somebody a member"—quoted from https://www.ldoceonline.com/dictionary/coopt

    Macmillan is a bit different; it says "agree to make that person a member." Whether that person accepts the offer and finally becomes a member is unknown.

  6. Moderator
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    #6

    Re: “co-opt” and inferences

    Before you posted this thread, you had already received nine responses from members of WordReference forums.

    Please do not post the same question simultaneously to more than one forum. Doing so wastes our valuable time. Instead, post your question to one forum and wait for replies. If you're not satisfied with those replies, you can try another forum, but please indicate in your thread that you've already asked the same question elsewhere (provide a link), and outline why you were not satisfied with the answers you received already.
    (teechar)

  7. Tarheel's Avatar
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    #7

    Lightbulb Re: “co-opt” and inferences

    If a person is co-opted into a group, is that person necessarily a member of that group?

    The only possible answer, in my opinion, is yes.

    He was co-opted into the Labour Government in 1964.

    The only logical inference, in my opinion, is that he became a member of the Labour Government. (Would it be logical to think he didn't?)

    Once again a lesson on how important context is.

    The word co-opt is not an everyday word. Unless you have a good reason to use it you shouldn't concern yourself with it any further.

    (Please note that I arrived at my opinion only after getting a two-hour nap and reading everything that had previously been posted.

    (If you make your post too long by the time I get to the end I may have forgotten what was at the beginning. )
    Not a professional teacher

  8. Matthew Wai's Avatar
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    #8

    Re: “co-opt” and inferences

    Quote Originally Posted by raymondaliasapollyon View Post
    The Collins Cobuild dictionary has the following definition:


    If someone is co-opted into a group, they are asked by that group to become a member, rather than joining or being elected in the normal way.
    They do not join the group in the normal way. They are not elected to be a member in the normal way. Instead, they are asked to become a member. So, they are actually a member.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #9

    Re: “co-opt” and inferences

    Quote Originally Posted by Matthew Wai View Post
    They do not join the group in the normal way. They are not elected to be a member in the normal way. Instead, they are asked to become a member. So, they are actually a member.
    Being asked to become a member is different from actually becoming a member.

  10. Member
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    #10

    Re: “co-opt” and inferences

    Quote Originally Posted by Rover_KE View Post
    Before you posted this thread, you had already received nine responses from members of WordReference forums.

    Please do not post the same question simultaneously to more than one forum. Doing so wastes our valuable time. Instead, post your question to one forum and wait for replies. If you're not satisfied with those replies, you can try another forum, but please indicate in your thread that you've already asked the same question elsewhere (provide a link), and outline why you were not satisfied with the answers you received already.
    (teechar)

    I find quite a few native speakers have trouble discerning the various definitions and the accompanying inferences.

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