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ADS-L Digest - 26 Jun 1998 to 27 Jun 1998 98-06-28 00:00:36
There is one message totalling 31 lines in this issue.

Topics of the day:

1. more on 'grow'


Date: Sat, 27 Jun 1998 10:27:46 -0400
From: "Bethany K. Dumas"
Subject: more on 'grow'

Apparently, some native speakers of AmEng do not think there is any
semantic ambiguity in the tr. v. 'grow' when it is used with non-agri
objects. I continue to think that there is. Consider a sentence I read in
today's Knoxville News-Sentinel:

> It plans to add some technical employees in the Knoxville office, but
> the firm is not interested in growing a large employee base.

The sense appears to be that the co. is not interested in increasing its
number of employees. And the sentence seems to emphasize the lack of
interest in a new entity -- "a large amployee base" -- not a lack of
interest in increasing the size of its present employee base.

Am I making sense?

In other words, when we "grow the economy," we seem to "increase the size
of" the economy or "improve the economy." There is no sense of "improve"
in the above example, I think.