scupper

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Nathan Mckane

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Have I used the word ''scupper'' correctly in the following sentence?

All those good words he put in for me with the boss was scupperd by making that egregious gaffe.

Thanks.
 

emsr2d2

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Have I used the word ''scupper'' correctly in the following sentence?

All those good words he put in for me with the boss [STRIKE]was[/STRIKE] were scuppered by making that egregious gaffe.

Thanks.

Sort of! I think you have the general idea right, but you don't scupper someone's words. Usually our plans are scuppered by something else happening.

My plans to go skiing were scuppered by my breaking my leg during a tennis match.

I wanted to become a brain surgeon but I was useless at biology at school. That scuppered that idea!
 

Barb_D

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I would have been clueless about this word.
 

BobK

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I would have been clueless about this word.
No maritime heritage! ;-) The 'scuppers' are the gutter around the deck of a ship. (In the song 'What shall we do with the drunken sailor?' one of the verses suggests 'Put him in the scuppers with a hose-pipe on him').

When you scuppered a ship, you sank it (so that the sea rose above the scuppers). But the word is used much more widely as a metaphor: think of 'sunk'.

b
 

Barb_D

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No maritime heritage! ;-) The 'scuppers' are the gutter around the deck of a ship. (In the song 'What shall we do with the drunken sailor?' one of the verses suggests 'Put him in the scuppers with a hose-pipe on him').

When you scuppered a ship, you sank it (so that the sea rose above the scuppers). But the word is used much more widely as a metaphor: think of 'sunk'.

b
Quite the contrary. I was an officer of the U.S. Navy for six years... but don't recall hearing this one. I don't think it's metaphorical sense is used very often in the US; we'd say sunk or shot for those examples, and I would have said scuttled the ship, not scuppered it.

Maybe the fine Royal Navy and US Navy use different terms?

(I thought you put him in the rack with the captain's daughter?)

I do know scuttlebutt, though.
 

BobK

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Yes - British sailors also scuttle ships; but when they do, the water fills the scuppers just before the ship goes down. ;-) Guess you're right about different lingos.

b
 

Barb_D

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That's the scuttlebutt - two nations divided by a common language! ;-)
 

Nathan Mckane

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Thanks to all of you for your interesting information.

Would you please tell me what I can use instead of the word scupper in the sentence above?
 

Barb_D

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rendered moot by
cancelled out by
were nothing in the face of
 

BobK

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...or you could underline the doing/undoing aspect by saying something like 'by putting his foot in it he undid in a moment all his previous weeks of good work'.

b
 
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