Click here to preview the new Fast Company

Want to try out the new FastCompany.com?

If you’d like to return to the previous design, click the yellow button on the lower left corner.

Grammatical Usage: Are We Concepting Yet?

"To con•cept (knspt)—con•cepted (knspt-ed)—con•cept•ing (knspt-ing) v. 1. A process whereby ideas are generated for the purpose of creatively solving a problem: 'The team set aside some time for concepting in order to flush out some plausible directions.'"

From a (possibly serious) online petition urging Merriam-Webster to add a verb form of "concept" to its dictionary, at http://verb4concept.blogspot.com

Add New Comment

1 Comments

  • Matthew Davis

    Ironically the sample quotation above contains an error. To “flesh out” an idea is to give it substance, as a sculptor adds clay flesh to a skeletal armature. To “flush out” a criminal is to drive him or her out into the open. The latter term is derived from bird-hunting, in which one flushes out a covey of quail. If you are trying to develop something further, use “flesh”; but if you are trying to reveal something hitherto concealed, use “flush.”