I'm editing a paper and the author is using the word galvanised in this way: "Fair trade, community-supported agriculture, and microfinance are just some examples of market systems galvanized by moral concerns and societal aspirations."

I feel like galvanised is inappropriate: market systems are not jumping to action because of moral concerns etc. What would be another word to use in its stead?

  • Motivated would be a milder word. But why not galvanised? Some factory in India burns down or farmers burn down rain forest to plant whatever the corporations will pay the most for. – mplungjan Nov 13 '17 at 6:46
  • Impelled, urged, inspired, and stimulated all come to mind. – user252723 Nov 13 '17 at 7:05
  • damaged by? (I agree with your doubts about the logic and wonder what the original writer thought "galvanized by" meant here.) Possibly just use "affected by"? or "influenced by"? – Xanne Nov 13 '17 at 7:31
  • I think the original writer of the piece meant 'provoked by moral concerns', though whether or not that is a true understanding of how market systems actually work is another matter. 'Galvanized into action' is the meaning.books.google.com/ngrams/… – Nigel J Nov 13 '17 at 8:27
  • Embiggened? (sorry, but it's just such a good fit). Which have arisen from is a poor second. – Phil Sweet Nov 14 '17 at 4:06

Galvanise is a metaphor for "protect" - though extended usage may have more to do with "springing into action". But here I just think it means "protect".

It comes from the practice of coating metal objects with a protective layer applied with the use of galvanitic electrolysis, to prevent rusting.

It seems to me a perfectly apt word to use in the context you quote. But a synonym would of course be protect.

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  • It's not so much protection in the OP's context - I think it's more courage, perhaps rationalised as the courage that comes from knowing that one is protected. – Lawrence Nov 13 '17 at 8:24
  • Of course, galvanization does involve running an electric current through the target object. So I suppose there is an inherent "shock factor". – Hot Licks Nov 13 '17 at 13:00
  • Wrong type of galvanic action @WS – Phil Sweet Nov 14 '17 at 3:44
  • @PhilSweet Umm! Interesting. – WS2 Nov 14 '17 at 18:12

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