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When teaching people, is it correct to say:

'The author struck an example.' ?

Can anybody give me another word used to mean 'give an example' when using examples or parables to teach people.

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

How about:

The author noted an example


The author drew an example

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The Author came up with an example

PS: It strikes me that something should have struck him rather than him striking something

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People who downvote really should comment as to why. – mplungjan May 23 '11 at 6:18
I agree, explanations should be provided. I assume it was your PS - you suggest that: I struck gold is wrong, and it is perfectly legitimate. Actually, what you suggest is awkward as no one would say: Gold struck me (and the meaning is lost; at least in prose). – Unreason May 23 '11 at 7:30
What I mean was "An example just struck me" rather than "I just struck an example". Tt sounds very artificial to me to say "I struck an example" – mplungjan May 23 '11 at 7:59
Well, "An example just struck you" would (for me) mean that you were struck by some attribute of the example (elegance, simplicity or complexity, etc...). This happens suddenly (as in struck by lightning or love). "You struck an example." would mean that you found or collided with an example. There is also a note of unexpectedness here, but (to me) more importantly it implies more conscious activity on your part (you strike it, as opposed to you being struck). The chance element is implied in BOTH cases and I don't believe there is anything artificial here. – Unreason May 23 '11 at 8:09
The idea is that the author mines into the ethereal realm of ideas and picks out a valuable example. It can also be thought of in the same sense that someone "strikes a chord". – Stuart P. Bentley May 24 '11 at 20:45

The idiom for finding something is actually "struck upon [something]". Just struck on its own sounds... odd when used like this; I can totally see somebody misinterpreting it as "deleted an example", since struck can mean "crossed out".

Note, though, that "struck upon" has a connotation of surprising discovery, which is probably not going to be terribly accurate/appropriate for an invented example. Better options would be "came up with", the aforementioned "invented", or even simply "gave".

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Wouldn't a better way to say that be "The author gave an example"?

P.S. If you could explain the context, maybe the community can come up with better answers.

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The essential meaning of

The author struck an example.

is that

The author found an example.

For this meaning of to find you will find a lot of related words, many of which you can simply interchange (for example: uncovers, runs across, works out, derives, encounters..; however do note that not all - if you like some of them run them through ngrams search, but beware - if something is rare it does not mean it is wrong).

Also, you should note that context can also give you more words. Assuming the context is an introduction to the actual example you can substitute with to give. In this case the meaning on the level of the sentence is changed, though it is perfectly alright to use something like

The author presents an example:

just before you quote the example (actually the most common phrases I found were: gives an example, provides an example, shows an example).

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Alternatively it could mean 'the author removed an example' as strike can also mean delete or remove. – z7sg Ѫ May 23 '11 at 10:55
@z7sg, Indeed, though that is out of the OP's context ("give another meaning for 'to give an example'") – Unreason May 23 '11 at 10:56
So 'find an example' is also out of context, and not the essential meaning of the phrase which is ambiguous. – z7sg Ѫ May 23 '11 at 11:14
Struck has the implied meaning of creation. "The board struck a committee to deal with the issue." "find" implies discovery of something already existing. So I think "came up with an example is better. – Chris Cudmore May 24 '11 at 19:55
@z7sg, re context: OP needs it for teaching, he says he wants other phrases that mean 'give an example', such as 'struck(!) an example'. That is the context - in this context struck can not mean remove. @chris, when N. Armstrong says: 'It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue was Earth.' there is no implication of creation nor in phrase 'We have struck gold vein.' (we found existing gold deposit). However, I don't claim that the phrase is the best answer, my point is that there are many, many appropriate synonyms for find and give an example. – Unreason May 25 '11 at 7:48

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