Verb "ransack"

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Bassim

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I am wondering if my sentences makes sense in English. I have tried to use "ransack", but I am not sure if it can be used as I used it. Is it correct to say "clues of who she was"?

Maria ransacked her past, trying to understand herself. She looked for the clues of who she actually was.
 

bubbha

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I've only ever heard "ransack" used with apartments, houses, offices, or other living or work spaces.
 

Bassim

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Corpus of Contemporary AmE has these examples:
He ransacked his brain to try to remember how they used Canadians just a few minutes before.
He ransacked his memory.
He ransacked his childhood for inspiration.
Magrite ransacked his dreams and his subconscious for images.
 

GoesStation

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Corpus of Contemporary AmE has these examples:
He ransacked his brain to try to remember how they used Canadians just a few minutes before.
He ransacked his memory.
He ransacked his childhood for inspiration.
Magrite ransacked his dreams and his subconscious for images.

Evidently each of these phrases has been used. They all look clumsy to me.
 

GoesStation

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Write She was looking for [STRIKE]the[/STRIKE] clues [STRIKE]for[/STRIKE] to who she actually was.
 

bubbha

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To me, "ransack" means to frantically search for something, and in doing so, create a complete mess and even cause damage.
 

Skrej

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I can't say I've ever heard of 'ransack' being used for memories, but I have heard 'rummage (through)' used for memories. It's similar to 'ransack'.
 

probus

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I can't say I've ever heard of 'ransack' being used for memories, but I have heard 'rummage (through)' used for memories. It's similar to 'ransack'.

I agree. We rummage through our memories as best we can. We may have been able to ransack them when we were young and advocating and needing lignting response, but that ability fades as we age.
 
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