English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I want to make this sentence more concise:

Chairman Mao attempted to jumpstart China's agriculture and industry.

Could one replace "attempted to jumpstart" with a single word?

share|improve this question
Why try to join 'attempt' or 'try' with 'jumpstart'? keep them separate and just look for a synonym of 'jumpstart' (in a thesaurus). – Mitch Apr 2 '12 at 13:04
up vote 3 down vote accepted

The closest word I can think of is jolt, which replaces only the word jumpstart, not the part which reads attempted to. My answer therefore is similar to @shinyspoongod's. I don't believe there is a word that can replace the whole phrase successfully.

I believe your initial sentence communicates the message effectively. You don't need to change anything.

share|improve this answer
I agree with Irene. There's the notion of jumpstarting, resuscitating, or boosting, etc., and there's the notion of attempting, or trying. So, you can say attempted to jumpstart, or tried to resuscitate, aimed to boost, but I don't know if you can say it all in just one word. Besides, what you quoted doesn't read overly wordy. – J.R. Apr 1 '12 at 18:35
That makes sense. It's hard to get more concise. Thanks! – David Faux Apr 1 '12 at 22:57

You could try the word "spur". It seems difficult to find the right connotation among synonyms, since most have the voice of assumed success, as opposed to the desired meaning that an attempt was made, without any inference involving the outcome. This is the best I could find.

share|improve this answer
This fails to take into account the fact that Mao was making an attempt. Spur implies that something was prompted or goaded into action (and, likely, success). If you say "Chairman Mao spurred China's agriculture and industry" you will be perceived as implying that he got them going, which is not necessarily the case. – Robusto Apr 8 '12 at 14:09
Spur: v. to urge a horse [to move] by digging into its hide with a spur. Does not imply that the horse didn't buck the rider off instead. – shinyspoongod Apr 29 '12 at 1:46

What about "charged" or "primed", or maybe "fanned"?

share|improve this answer

The only word I can think of which would mean the same as 'jumpstart' and also imply a sense that it had perhaps not already happened would be 'stimulate'.

The sentence would be: "Chairman Mao stimulated China's agriculture and industry.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.