Hello, everyone,

The following definition of the word “State” (verb) is from the OED.

8.8 To declare in words; to represent (a matter) in all the circumstances of modification; to set out fully or in a definite form.

My understanding of the two parts of the threefold definition is something like the following.

To declare in words: To describe using words.

To set out fully or in a definite form: To describe a thing or event to the full, or to describe a thing or event in a way that is enough to bring out its nature or essential features.

What I am unable to understand is the ‘to represent (a matter) in all the circumstances of modification’ part, both in terms of meaning and implication.

All the examples under this definition are provided herein under. Kindly point me the relevant example that brings out the implication of “all the circumstances of modification” fully. And, kindly provide a few examples.

1647 Clarendon Hist. Reb. i. §34 Whereupon it was thought fit that the whole affair‥should be stated and enlarged upon in a conference between the two Houses.

1667 Boyle Orig. Formes & Qual. (ed. 2) 332 Themes, where the names that are of very common and necessary use have (yet) their significations very little stated or agreed upon.

1764 Goldsm. Trav. 361 Yet think not, thus when Freedom's ills I state, I mean to flatter kings, or court the great.

1781 Cowper Convers. 816 It has indeed been told me (with what weight, How credible, 'tis hard for me to state) That [etc.].

1802 M. Edgeworth Mor. Tales, Forester xii. (1848) 57 The facts were so plainly and forcibly stated, that his hopes even from law began to falter.

1810 Scott Let. in Lockhart (1837) II. viii. 284 The only purpose which I suppose Lord Lauderdale had in view was to state charges which could neither be understood nor refuted.

1860 Tyndall Glac. ii. i. 224 It will not be a useless labour‥to state‥our present views of light and heat.

1862 Kalisch Hebr. Gram. i. 19 Exercise vii. State the reasons why metheg is employed in the following words.

1891 Law Times XC. 463/1 The contents of the deed were falsely stated.

Thanks.

Original Post
ahmad posted:

The following definition of the word “State” (verb) is from the OED.

8.8 To declare in words; to represent (a matter) in all the circumstances of modification; to set out fully or in a definite form.

Hello, Ahmad,

What edition of the OED are you looking at? The most current edition is the one online, to which I pay to have access, and that is not one of the definitions given of the verb "state." Even the numbering format is different. Instead of 1.1, 1.2, etc., the online edition has 1(a), 1(b), etc.

ahmad posted:
All the examples under this definition are provided herein under.

The hyper-formal (stilted and unnatural) word you're looking for is hereunder. The normal thing to say is that the examples are provided below. Some of the examples you have quoted appear in the current (online) edition of the OED. Are you able to understand the related definition that the current OED gives?

9.

 a. To express in speech or writing; to declare clearly, definitely, or formally (that which one believes to be true); to put forward, proclaim, assert.Now the usual sense.
 

 (a) With object and infinitive. Frequently in passive.

1642   King Charles I His Maiesties Answer Declar. Lords & Commons 19 May 8   The Message..is stated to be no other (even by that Declaration which reproved Us) then a plain threat.
1700   J. Jones Myst. Opium Reveal'd viii. 45   All Authors, who stated Opium to be a Diminisher or Disabler of the Spirits.
1774   Ld. Mansfield in H. Cowper Rep. (1783) 170   He has stated it to be in Minorca; with a videlicet.
1835   W. Kirby On Power of God in Creation of Animals I. ii. 62   The ox of Surat is stated to have two of these bosses or humps.
1846   Penny Cycl. Suppl. II. 502/2   The inhabitants, whose number is stated not to exceed a thousand.
1912   Penn Germania Mar. 174/1   A note inserted in the beginning states it to contain copies of hymns by John Kelpius.
2009   Ireland's Eye Jan. 16/1   Eight demonstrators are stated to be in a serious condition.

 (b) With clause (esp. that-clause) as object.

1655   J. Lightfoot Harmony New-Test. 195   He states..that the election hath obtained, but the rest are blinded.
1675   G. Harvey Dis. of London x. 130   It may be stated, that the intemperament of the Blood, which is the parent of the Scorvey, is two-fold.
1768   W. Blackstone Comm. Laws Eng. III. 221   An assise of nusance is a writ, wherein it is stated that the party injured complains of some fact done.
1790   W. Paley Horæ Paulinæ xv. 378   The subscription of the first epistle to the Corinthians states that it was written from Philippi.
1838   S. Smiles Physical Educ. 10   Here we may state what is the scope and object of a proper physical education.
1850   W. E. Gladstone Giacomo Leopardi in Q. Rev. Mar. 332   We may state that his father was known..to be a man of extreme opinions.
1866   C. Thirlwall Let. 24 Aug. (1881) II. 77   Diego then stated that he was going to the university of Salamanca.
1915   D. Haig Diary 2 Apr. in War Diaries (2005) 113   I received back a letter I had sent to the CGS stating what I proposed to do in the way of exploding mines.
1940   Science 24 May 506/1   Von Baer makes quite clear his reason for stating that Purkinje's vesicle is absent.
1972   Computer Jrnl. 15 200/2   One field..contains an entry stating who is allowed to overwrite the file.
2008   A. A. Mosshammer Easter Computus & Origins Christian Era (2009) xv. 339   Modern reference-works often state that Dionysius dated the Nativity to December of the year 753 from the foundation of Rome.

 (c) With simple object.

1667   R. Boyle Origine Formes & Qualities (ed. 2) 332   Themes, where the names that are of very common and necessary use have (yet) their significations very little stated or agreed on.
1702   Clarendon's Hist. Rebellion I. i. 17   It was thought fit, that the whole Affair..should be stated and enlarged upon, in a Conference between the two Houses.
1764   O. Goldsmith Traveller 19   Yet think not thus, when Freedom's ills I state, I mean to flatter kings, or court the great.
1810   Scott Let. 3 July (1932) II. 357   The only purpose which I suppose Lord Lauderdale had in view was to state charges which could neither be understood nor refuted.
1860   J. Tyndall Glaciers of Alps ii. i. 224   It will not be a useless labour..to state..our present views of light and heat.
1891   Law Times 90 463/1   The contents of the deed were falsely stated.
1913   Mod. Lang. Notes 28 26/2   His relations to Virgil and to Theocritus are stated only in rather general terms.
1956   H. L. Mencken Minority Rep. 181   It is never possible for a metaphysician to state his ideas in plain English.
1996   C. Higson Getting Rid of Mr Kitchen i. 10   You have to be told. It's for your own good. I'm just stating the facts.
2010   S.-T. Yan & S. Nadis Shape Inner Space iii. 39   The goal of this approach, broadly stated, is to exploit the powerful methods of analysis.

 (d) With direct speech as object.

1804   J. Duncumb Coll. Hist. County Hereford I. 264   His lady, also, he stated, ‘had been restrained of her liberty without cause’.
1817   Scott Rob Roy (1818) II. v. 113   ‘The servants,’ he stated, ‘with the tenantry and others, had been all regularly enrolled and mustered.’
1864   London Society Dec. 546/1   ‘I am well in health,’ she stated in this letter.
1919   Business Digest 11 Nov. 539/2   Of the terrible Salem fire the report states: ‘The fire lasted thirteen hours and covered an area of 251 acres.’
1981   D. Anderson Rough Layout xx. 158   ‘It was after the war, remember, when we really settled down together,’ Adele stated matter-of-factly.
2010   Independent 27 Apr. 23/2   He [sc. the writer Ian McEwan] once stated: ‘I hate comic novels.’
David, Moderator posted:

What edition of the OED are you looking at?

Hi, David,

I have a limited access to (what now appears to have in itself been rendered limited in scope over time) Oxford English Dictionary Second Edition on CD-ROM (v. 4.0.0.2)
© Oxford University Press 2009.

"Are you able to understand the related definition that the current OED gives?"

Sir, I hope you would believe me if I told you that I have known the usual definition/sense of the word in question for a very long time. My question, which I fear has not been touched upon by you, is simply this:  What is the normal way to define the cluster of words "to represent (a matter) in all the circumstances of modification", especially the phrase "circumstances of modification"?

Thanks.

 
ahmad posted:
What is the normal way to define the cluster of words "to represent (a matter) in all the circumstances of modification", especially the phrase "circumstances of modification"?

Well, Ahmad, think of legal documents. When we wish to state or represent a matter fully, and to take into account all possible (or all known) circumstances or types of circumstances in which it might apply or be thought to apply, we modify our representation of the matter according as those circumstances or types of circumstances necessitate that our representation be modified in their light.

Consider the copyright page of Swan's Practical English Usage (3rd Edition). It says: "No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the prior permission in writing of Oxford University Press, or as expressly permitted by law, or under terms agreed with the appropriate reprographics rights organization."

In layman's terms, that means "Don't copy the book." But can you see why a full statement of that idea, in light of the existence of retrieval and transmission systems and of the variety of laws in the countries in which the book may be distributed or read, required the various and verbose modifications?

Also, consider how grammatical topics, such as the passive voice, are described in a learner's book versus in academic linguistic texts. Depending on who one's audience is, one will take into account varying levels of detail and exceptional cases. Whereas a learner's book might try to characterize the passive voice in a paragraph or less, entire books have been written about the passive voice.

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