Carrot and Stick

Has this phrase changed its meaning?

Discuss various aspects of natural language.

Moderators: Calilasseia, ADParker

Carrot and Stick

#1  Postby CookieJon » Sep 19, 2012 10:49 am

A "carrot and stick" approach...

For years, I understood this phrase to mean providing an incentive, like a carrot being dangled from a stick in front of a donkey or whatever.

But recently, every time I hear this phrase used it seems to mean a choice between an incentive (a carrot) and a disincentive (being whacked with a stick)

Has the meaning of this phrase changed, or does it mean both things, or have I just been misinformed?

Confused.
Last edited by CookieJon on Sep 19, 2012 11:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
CookieJon
RS Donator
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 8384
Male

Jolly Roger (arr)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Carrot and Stick

#2  Postby virphen » Sep 19, 2012 10:52 am

Well the stick isn't an incentive, it's a punishment for not doing what the person wielding it wants you to do. You dangle the carrot in front of the donkey, or whack it with the stick.
User avatar
virphen
 
Posts: 7288
Male

Print view this post

Re: Carrot and Stick

#3  Postby CookieJon » Sep 19, 2012 10:56 am

virphen wrote:Well the stick isn't an incentive, it's a punishment for not doing what the person wielding it wants you to do. You dangle the carrot in front of the donkey, or whack it with the stick.


Yes, that's what it seems to mean now... I'm wondering if it ever meant what I originally suggested (carrot + stick = reward), or whether Miss Plimpton, my Year 2 teacher, lied to me.
User avatar
CookieJon
RS Donator
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 8384
Male

Jolly Roger (arr)
Print view this post

Re: Carrot and Stick

#4  Postby trubble76 » Sep 19, 2012 11:03 am

It just means there are two ways to move a donkey (representing a stubborn beast), lure it forwards with a carrot (representing positive encouragement) or force it forwards with a stick (representing negative encouragement).

An example: "Okay children, we are all going to run a lap of the track. The first 5 children with receive a pack of sweeties and the last 5 will all be made to run it again" In this case, both positive and negative encouragement are applied to get the children to run quickly. The children are the donkey, the sweeties are the carrot and the extra lap is the stick.
Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose,
And nothin' ain't worth nothin' but it's free.

"Suck me off and I'll turn the voltage down"
User avatar
trubble76
RS Donator
 
Posts: 11205
Age: 44
Male

United Kingdom (uk)
Print view this post

Re: Carrot and Stick

#5  Postby CookieJon » Sep 19, 2012 11:05 am

trubble76 wrote:It just means there are two ways to move a donkey (representing a stubborn beast), lure it forwards with a carrot (representing positive encouragement) or force it forwards with a stick (representing negative encouragement).

An example: "Okay children, we are all going to run a lap of the track. The first 5 children with receive a pack of sweeties and the last 5 will all be made to run it again" In this case, both positive and negative encouragement are applied to get the children to run quickly. The children are the donkey, the sweeties are the carrot and the extra lap is the stick.


Yes, thanks trubble that's what it seems to mean now... I'm wondering if it ever meant what I originally suggested.
User avatar
CookieJon
RS Donator
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 8384
Male

Jolly Roger (arr)
Print view this post

Re: Carrot and Stick

#6  Postby Crocodile Gandhi » Sep 19, 2012 11:07 am

CookieJon, I'd like to explain to you what the two-pronged meaning is again. I understand that is what you are looking for in this thread.
If I believe in heaven I deny myself a death. Dying keeps me conscious of the way I waste my breath - Cosmo Jarvis
User avatar
Crocodile Gandhi
RS Donator
 
Name: Dave
Posts: 4142
Age: 31
Male

Country: Australia
Australia (au)
Print view this post

Re: Carrot and Stick

#7  Postby CookieJon » Sep 19, 2012 11:09 am

Crocodile Gandhi wrote:CookieJon, I'd like to explain to you what the two-pronged meaning is again. I understand that is what you are looking for in this thread.

:lol:

Thanks Croc, but are you offering a carrot or a stick?
Last edited by CookieJon on Sep 19, 2012 11:09 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
CookieJon
RS Donator
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 8384
Male

Jolly Roger (arr)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Carrot and Stick

#8  Postby Fallible » Sep 19, 2012 11:09 am

I'm not sure it ever meant the carrot tied to the stick.

This made me think - to be honest as I've got older, I've become astounded by the gradual realisation I've come to over the years that a lot of teachers don't seem to know what the fuck they're talking about. I'm married to one by the way, I do know there are loads of great ones. But jeez, spelling and grammar is like a foreign language to a lot of them. My A Level English teacher didn't know what a dais is (at the time I was not aware of the fact that this word isn't as obscure as she made it appear, so I didn't think much of it at the time) and just recently a teacher told my daughter that the sun orbits around the earth and made her 'correct' the work she'd just done in line with this.
She battled through in every kind of tribulation,
She revelled in adventure and imagination.
She never listened to no hater, liar,
Breaking boundaries and chasing fire.
Oh, my my! Oh my, she flies!
User avatar
Fallible
RS Donator
 
Name: Alice Pooper
Posts: 51607
Age: 48
Female

Country: Engerland na na
Canada (ca)
Print view this post

Re: Carrot and Stick

#9  Postby Matt_B » Sep 19, 2012 11:13 am

Let me Wikipedia it for you...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrot_and_stick

It seems that it's always had the meaning of combining punishment and reward, and can be traced back to an article in The Economist in 1948.
User avatar
Matt_B
 
Posts: 4683
Male

Country: Australia
Australia (au)
Print view this post

Re: Carrot and Stick

#10  Postby CookieJon » Sep 19, 2012 11:14 am

Fallible wrote:My A Level English teacher didn't know what a dais is (at the time I was not aware of the fact that this word isn't as obscure as she made it appear, so I didn't think much of it at the time)

Funny, since the only time I ever used or heard the word "dais" regularly was in school because we'd have to assemble "in front of the dais" for school err.. assembly.

and just recently a teacher told my daughter that the sun orbits around the earth and made her 'correct' the work she'd just done in line with this.

That is unforgivable.

Alright consensus so far seems to be I'm wrong. I live in hope... maybe it's an age thing.

I suppose I could Google, but then you could say that about anything on this forum really. :mrgreen:
User avatar
CookieJon
RS Donator
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 8384
Male

Jolly Roger (arr)
Print view this post

Re: Carrot and Stick

#11  Postby Fallible » Sep 19, 2012 11:17 am

Ah we assembled in front of the stage. I still think it's a pretty bad oversight for an English teacher not to be aware of a word which although might not be heard every day, is far from obscure.

As for the sun and moon thing, let's just say I'm glad my daughter's at the High School now.
She battled through in every kind of tribulation,
She revelled in adventure and imagination.
She never listened to no hater, liar,
Breaking boundaries and chasing fire.
Oh, my my! Oh my, she flies!
User avatar
Fallible
RS Donator
 
Name: Alice Pooper
Posts: 51607
Age: 48
Female

Country: Engerland na na
Canada (ca)
Print view this post

Re: Carrot and Stick

#12  Postby Crocodile Gandhi » Sep 19, 2012 11:19 am

I've never liked this term as I'm not particularly fond of carrots. I don't think there's anything that I would do if a carrot was the reward. In fact, a carrot and stick approach would be more likely to represent two forms of punishment.
If I believe in heaven I deny myself a death. Dying keeps me conscious of the way I waste my breath - Cosmo Jarvis
User avatar
Crocodile Gandhi
RS Donator
 
Name: Dave
Posts: 4142
Age: 31
Male

Country: Australia
Australia (au)
Print view this post

Re: Carrot and Stick

#13  Postby CookieJon » Sep 19, 2012 11:19 am

Matt_B wrote:Let me Wikipedia it for you...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carrot_and_stick

It seems that it's always had the meaning of combining punishment and reward, and can be traced back to an article in The Economist in 1948.


ahem...

Supported by the fact that the mule cannot move away from the stick, and that using a carrot and a stick simultaneously is redundant, some[who?] claim that this usage of phrase is erroneous, and that it in fact comes from the figure of a carrot on a stick. In this case, the driver would tie a carrot on a string to a long stick and dangle it in front of the donkey, just out of its reach. As the donkey moved forward to get the carrot, it pulled the cart and the driver so that the carrot would always remain out of reach.


and “Carrot on a stick” vs. “the carrot or the stick.” reckons the earliest citation is too ambiguous to tell which is "correct".

Vindicated!!
User avatar
CookieJon
RS Donator
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 8384
Male

Jolly Roger (arr)
Print view this post

Re: Carrot and Stick

#14  Postby Fallible » Sep 19, 2012 11:20 am

Crocodile Gandhi wrote:I've never liked this term as I'm not particularly fond of carrots. I don't think there's anything that I would do if a carrot was the reward. In fact, a carrot and stick approach would be more likely to represent two forms of punishment.


Yeah but to be fair, you're not a donkey.
She battled through in every kind of tribulation,
She revelled in adventure and imagination.
She never listened to no hater, liar,
Breaking boundaries and chasing fire.
Oh, my my! Oh my, she flies!
User avatar
Fallible
RS Donator
 
Name: Alice Pooper
Posts: 51607
Age: 48
Female

Country: Engerland na na
Canada (ca)
Print view this post

Re: Carrot and Stick

#15  Postby CookieJon » Sep 19, 2012 11:21 am

Crocodile Gandhi wrote:I've never liked this term as I'm not particularly fond of carrots.

But you're not a donkey.
User avatar
CookieJon
RS Donator
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 8384
Male

Jolly Roger (arr)
Print view this post

Ads by Google


Re: Carrot and Stick

#16  Postby CookieJon » Sep 19, 2012 11:21 am

Oh Schnapps.
User avatar
CookieJon
RS Donator
THREAD STARTER
 
Posts: 8384
Male

Jolly Roger (arr)
Print view this post

Re: Carrot and Stick

#17  Postby Crocodile Gandhi » Sep 19, 2012 11:22 am

Fallible wrote:
Crocodile Gandhi wrote:I've never liked this term as I'm not particularly fond of carrots. I don't think there's anything that I would do if a carrot was the reward. In fact, a carrot and stick approach would be more likely to represent two forms of punishment.


Yeah but to be fair, you're not a donkey.


No. Not yet.
If I believe in heaven I deny myself a death. Dying keeps me conscious of the way I waste my breath - Cosmo Jarvis
User avatar
Crocodile Gandhi
RS Donator
 
Name: Dave
Posts: 4142
Age: 31
Male

Country: Australia
Australia (au)
Print view this post

Re: Carrot and Stick

#18  Postby Fallible » Sep 19, 2012 11:23 am

CookieJon wrote:Oh Schnapps.


:awesome:
She battled through in every kind of tribulation,
She revelled in adventure and imagination.
She never listened to no hater, liar,
Breaking boundaries and chasing fire.
Oh, my my! Oh my, she flies!
User avatar
Fallible
RS Donator
 
Name: Alice Pooper
Posts: 51607
Age: 48
Female

Country: Engerland na na
Canada (ca)
Print view this post

Re: Carrot and Stick

#19  Postby babel » Sep 19, 2012 11:23 am

Wait... you got to eat the carrot and caned with the stick. No wonder my education didn't make sense. :teef:
Milton Jones: "Just bought a broken second hand time machine - plan to fix it, have lots of adventures then go back and not buy it, he he idiots.."
User avatar
babel
 
Posts: 4675
Age: 40
Male

Country: Belgium
Belgium (be)
Print view this post

Re: Carrot and Stick

#20  Postby Fallible » Sep 19, 2012 11:23 am

Crocodile Gandhi wrote:
Fallible wrote:
Crocodile Gandhi wrote:I've never liked this term as I'm not particularly fond of carrots. I don't think there's anything that I would do if a carrot was the reward. In fact, a carrot and stick approach would be more likely to represent two forms of punishment.


Yeah but to be fair, you're not a donkey.


No. Not yet.


That what you're hoping for in your next life?
She battled through in every kind of tribulation,
She revelled in adventure and imagination.
She never listened to no hater, liar,
Breaking boundaries and chasing fire.
Oh, my my! Oh my, she flies!
User avatar
Fallible
RS Donator
 
Name: Alice Pooper
Posts: 51607
Age: 48
Female

Country: Engerland na na
Canada (ca)
Print view this post

Next

Return to Linguistics

Who is online

Users viewing this topic: No registered users and 1 guest