Archive for February 15, 2011

grammatical word: initiate

Today I would like to go over the verb “initiate”. It has three meanings in the English language:

1. to be the first person to start a plan with another person (usually among friends). For example:

I’m really annoyed with my friends now. Whenever we do something, I’m the one who always has to initiate. They never call me first.

I don’t usually initiate plans with my friends because I’m so busy. They always call me first.

A: Who initiated the plan to go bowling this weekend?

B: I’m not sure, but I think it was Lance who initiated it.

2. to begin some kind of policy, plan or project. For example:

My company has initiated a new dress code policy. Now we have to wear a suit at work all the time.

America will initiate the next phases of the new health care law soon.

North and South Korea have initiated talks to resolve some of their differences.

3. to allow someone to enter an organization through some kind of ritual or challenge. For example:

The university fraternity initiates its new members by making them eat really strange food.

A: How did that club initiate you as a member?

B: They made me memorize a long speech and give it to them wearing only my underwear.

Please be careful with the pronunciation of this word; it is pronounced /in NISH shee ate/. If you’re not sure, you can use The Free Dictionary to hear the proper pronunciation. The link for that site is on my blog.

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