Wednesday, January 03, 2007

:: adgruntie :: Flesh out vs. Flush out

+ All too often I've heard the phrase "flush out an idea" or concept uttered by suits and creatives alike. in down the toilet. The phrase these folks are searching for is flesh out, meaning to elaborate: add details, as to an account or idea; clarify the meaning of and discourse in a learned way.

Flush on its own can mean to flower or bloom or to clean out (such as flush the pipeline), but that is not the connotation when used with "out", especially in the creative and business world. In the verb tense, as it's being used in "flush out", the dictionary only gives the follow definitions for flush as verb:

v. intr.

1. To turn red, as from fever, embarrassment, or strong emotion; blush.
2. To glow, especially with a reddish color: The sky flushed pink at dawn.
3. To flow suddenly and abundantly, as from containment; flood.
4. To be emptied or cleaned by a rapid flow of water, as a toilet.

v. tr.

1. To cause to redden or glow.
2. To excite or elate: The team was flushed with the success of victory.
1. To clean, rinse, or empty with a rapid flow of a liquid, especially water: flush a toilet; flush a wound with iodine.
2. To remove or eliminate by or as if by flushing: "The weakness in demand and productivity will at least ... flush out some of the inflation premium that has been built into interest rates" (Fortune).

So, please stop using "flush out" unless you're talking about a client not approving an ad or something along those lines.

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