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  1. #1

    Exclamation cave-in

    "The author claims without evidence that we don't have enough uranium for minimum deterence. He compliments the US for rescuing the Tarapur reactors, not knowing the fuel for them has come from Russia. And he cites 'reactions carried in our media' to claim that the cave-in school of thought represents majority opinion."
    What is the meaning of cave-in in the phrase "cave-in school of thought".

    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    Re: cave-in

    Those people who want to give in/up. The term comes from the effect of a cave collapsing into itself.

  2. BobK's Avatar
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    Re: cave-in

    Quote Originally Posted by Romel Panzer View Post
    What is the meaning of cave-in in the phrase "cave-in school of thought".
    Anglika has explained 'cave-in', and explained the meaning of the whole phrase. It combines two figures of speech to make a pretty obscure expression! You may not have met (in many other contexts) the expression 'school of thought', which means 'people who follow a particular trend/fashion/tendency in thinking: example - 'There is a school of thought that regards the split infinitive as a mistake, but many teachers today accept it - as does the Concise Oxford English Dictionary'.

    What makes the expression even harder to parse is the use of 'cave-in' (a noun backformed from a verb) as an adjective (a noun in apposition to "school of thought"). I don't know the political context, but 'the cave-in school of thought' holds either that the best political choice is to accept a new political reality unquestioningly, or that there has been a cave-in to some other political force - which is probably a bad thing. (When someone is said to 'cave in' there is the implication that they possibly shouldn't have given up so easily: 'Really! Didn't you even suggest any alternatives? It's just like you to cave in at the least sign of resistance.' )


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