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I am writing to someone who is a sort of respectful person and I wanted to form a sentence such as below and I am wondering if using grab instead of learn or get is informal and looks odd.

I'd like to invite you to Somewhere where you will be able to grab a lot of cultural and historical artifacts.

Grab should mean "learn", "experience", etc.

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You probably don't want the word artifacts. The normal meaning of grab is to take possession of, hastily, or by force. And artifacts are normally physical objects of great cultural/historical significance. On a surface reading it sounds like you're inviting your colleague to accompany you on a trip to raid the pyramids for undiscovered treasures! – FumbleFingers Sep 4 '11 at 20:14
@FumbleFingers, this sentence reminded me of Indiana Jones – Thursagen Sep 4 '11 at 20:16
On a side note you might be confusing "grab" with "grasp". In the context of your sentence above its still not quite correct. However you can say "I will help you grasp the concept" or similar. – Thomas Clayson Sep 4 '11 at 23:45
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Personally, I've never heard of "grab" as in learn, but "grab" as in "get" or collect is informal, yes. This is a definition from Wiktionary of "grab", and one of its usages, the one that seems to apply to your context, has been dubbed informal:

(informal) to quickly collect or retrieve

Grab, is an informal word, and presumably not advised to be used in your situation.
If that person is a kind of respectful, dignified person, than just simply writing "I"d like to invite you to somewhere where you will be able to acquire a lot of cultural and historical artifacts" would be better.

Or, if the object was not an artifact, but learning, then, perhaps try:

I would like to invite you to a place where we would be able to increase our cultural and historical knowledge

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It is weird since "grab" is used not highly but occasionally in USA at least in CA and UT. – Tarik Sep 4 '11 at 20:13
I imagine "grab some lunch" is common throughout the English-speaking world - but it is always informal, and you wouldn't use it if you were going to have a leisurely, expensive, and/or high-quality meal. So even if it could be used to mean "learn" (which I doubt), it could never be appropriate for OP's context. – FumbleFingers Sep 4 '11 at 20:21
"It's" is not a genitive! – Andrew Grimm Sep 4 '11 at 23:42

I'd like to invite you to Somewhere where you will be able to grab a lot of cultural and historical artifacts.

This sounds like you are inviting him to a place where he can steal things found at archaeological digs.

Grab does not mean the the same thing as learn.

You may have confused grab with grasp. Grasp is equivalent to get in that they are both synonyms for understand. But understand and learn are not the same thing.

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That's more likely than my "grok", which I now deleted. – prash Sep 4 '11 at 20:47
:) steal things? I really laughed aloud :) you may be right, perhaps I am inviting him so we can steal things from museum. Thanks for the answer :) – Tarik May 9 '12 at 18:30

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