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Recently when talking to a friend about the lack of elevators in Asia he told me.

You should be relishing stairs

As a native English speaker the use of the word 'relishing' here sounded strange to me, although I can't quite figure out why, it seemed like a very odd thing to say in spoken English.

Why does it sound strange? Is there anything wrong with this construction?

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2  
I like it! Although it may be "strange" (unfamiliar) to your ear, it is a nice way of expressing enthusiasm for a mildly taxing (for many of us) activity. Would "relishing taking the stairs" be more to your liking? –  hardmath Apr 2 at 7:33
    
@hardmath not really, lol, but I relish taking the stairs might be slightly better. –  Samuel Parsonage Apr 3 at 12:22

1 Answer 1

relishing is a colourful and appropriate synonym for liking, but I would say it's only really appropriate to use to describe an action, not an object.

verb

  1. to savour or enjoy (an experience) to the full
  2. to anticipate eagerly; look forward to
  3. to enjoy the taste or flavour of (food, etc); savour
  4. to give appetizing taste or flavour to (food), by or as if by the addition of pickles or spices

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/relish

"He relished the chance to show off his new skill"

I wouldn't eagerly anticipate or look forward to a staircase; but I might eagerly anticipate or look forward to climbing it.

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Very interesting. You may be right, but I had never considered it more appropriate to describe an action than an object. OP's referenced phrase bothers me because I don't use relish so much and I tend to think of it in situations where savoring might be used. Very interesting! –  Mike Apr 2 at 10:45
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Yes, "relish" is mostly used in terms of eating, so it's a good synonym for savor. –  Jeffrey Kemp Apr 2 at 11:13
    
@Mike and Jeffery Kemp, my thoughts exactly! Relish in my mind is most properly used in the context of food, "savouring stairs" sounds equally strange! –  Samuel Parsonage Apr 3 at 12:28

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