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    #1

    He stirred them to discussion

    Dear teachers,

    I chanced upon a rather interesting expression today while rereading Jack London’s “The Iron Heel”. It made such an impression upon me that I thought I have to seek the aid of you.

    Would you be kind enough tell me whether the expression in bold in the following excerpt is common in English language?

    John Cunningham was a Professor at the State University at Berkley, California. His field was physics but he became interested in social problems and turned his dining-room into a “sociological laboratory” as he called it. Here came to dinner all sort and conditions of men – scientists, politicians, bankers, merchants, professors, labour leaders and others. He stirred them to discussion and analysed their thoughts on life and society.

    I know the ground meaning of the verb “stir” namely “to pass an implement through (a liquid, for example) in circular motions so as to mix or cool the contents” as in: stirred the soup before tasting it. I know the expression “ The wind stirs the leaves” or “Nobody stirred in the house". I know also “To stir one’s tea”. I think in the present case in the sentence in question above is used a transferred sence. To stir somebody to something means “to stir to activity”, “to stir s.o’s blood”, “excite”, “stimulate”, “provoke” as in: “He was deeply stirred by the news.” or “The story stirred the boy’s imagination”.

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards.

    V.
    Last edited by vil; 05-Jun-2008 at 13:42.


    • Join Date: Oct 2006
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    #2

    Re: He stirred them to discussion

    He stimulated them to discussion is a good paraphrase.

    • Member Info
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      • Bulgarian
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    #3

    Re: He stirred them to discussion

    Hi Anglika,

    Thank you for your recommendation.

    Regards.

    V.

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