The T Word


“To Take” is a mild enough infinitive, meaning to – what? Upon close inspection, take has a surprising variety of meanings, almost as wide-ranging as the “G” (get) word.

For example, one can be taken aback by (be surprised), or take after (resemble someone), or take back (retrieve, withdraw) one’s words or a gift, take such acts in stride (effortlessly), or take in (deceive, fool) someone.

I, however, do not know what my take (understanding) on that would be. For example, if someone did that to me, I’m not sure I would take it lying down (endure with impunity), or if I would take it out on someone (give a hard time or beating) [or revenge oneself]. I’m not even sure I should take it upon myself (assume the burden or responsibility) to solve this problem.

No, I don’t think I’ll take on (accept or assume) such a task. If, for example, I didn’t succeed, I might be taken down a peg (reduce our view of ourselves).

I think I would really be pleased if someone else would take over (assume) this task, as I’m no longer taken with it (enjoying). Even if someone did assume the task, I’m not sure I would take them at their word (believe them). If they could accomplish it, though, I might take to them (develop an immediate liking). However, if they didn’t come through, I might take them to task (scold, blame) for their failure.

As for me, I think I’m going to take up (begin) something else, as I can’t take (endure) thinking about this any more.