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Brainstorm Options
Priscilla86
Posted: Friday, May 12, 2017 12:13:25 AM

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How to use 'brainstorm' in a sentence?

Other than the simple 'let's brainstorm!' or 'let's have a brainstorming session', do the following sentences show the correct use of 'brainstorm'?

1. You need to brainstorm that idea first.

2. You should engage an expert and brainstorm for more ideas.

Thanks.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, May 12, 2017 12:29:31 AM

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I've never heard it as a verb . . .
I've only heard it used in definitions 2 and 3 below - a sudden bright idea or a sudden brief loss of the ability to reason properly.

brainstorm n
1. (Pathology) a severe outburst of excitement, often as the result of a transitory disturbance of cerebral activity
2. informal Brit a sudden mental aberration
3. informal another word for brainwave
4. a session of intensive discussion to solve problems or generate ideas

vb
(Pathology) to hold a brainstorming session

Collins English Dictionary

I guess the meaning is "to engage in intensive discussion to solve a problem".

So number one of your suggestions sounds OK.
Number two doesn't seem to work. If you engage an expert, he/she should know how to handle the problem without need for discussion (that's what experts are for!)


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
NKM
Posted: Friday, May 12, 2017 12:29:37 AM

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Those are OK, but you should be aware that "brainstorm" can also be a noun, meaning an unexpected new idea or sudden ("Eureka!") inspiration.

EDIT: Cross-posted with DragO, whose analysis suggests that I should have mentioned that these are essentially slang (or, at best, informal) usages.

sureshot
Posted: Friday, May 12, 2017 3:05:48 AM
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The word "brainstorm" can be used as a verb in the example sentences mentioned by Priscilla86. The following excerpts from Oxford Dictionary and Cambridge Dictionary should support the use.

SOURCE: OXFORD DICTIONARY (https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/brainstorm)
brainstorm NOUN

1British informal A moment in which one is suddenly unable to think clearly or act sensibly.
‘we can only assume that someone simply had a brainstorm and left the important bits out’

2A spontaneous group discussion to produce ideas and ways of solving problems.
‘the participants held a brainstorm’
as modifier ‘brainstorm exercises’

2.1North American informal A sudden clever idea.
‘these three brainstorms may flop like other well-intentioned innovations’

VERB
[NO OBJECT]
Hold a group discussion to produce ideas.
‘a brainstorming session’
- ‘We put our heads together; brainstormed for that one novel idea that would persuade our fellow students into parting with their tingling pocket lunchtime coins.’
- ‘If there is a problem with the illustration, help the student brainstorm how to solve the problem.’
- ‘Schweitzer and his marketing team brainstormed 50 to 60 ideas for the auction, which took months to coordinate with staff from CBS shows.’
- ‘The dietitians brainstormed and suggested important areas to discuss with the student during the first day together.’

SOURCE: CAMBRIDGE DICTIONARY (http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/brainstorm)

brainstorm verb [ I or T ] UK ​ /ˈbreɪn.stɔːm/ US ​ /ˈbreɪn.stɔːrm/​
(of a group of people) to suggest a lot of ideas for a future activity very quickly before considering some of them more carefully:
- The team got together to brainstorm (the project).

In my view, experts and professionals also need to brainstorm. They are not omniscient and occasionally do need to brainstorm as a team/group.


Priscilla86
Posted: Friday, May 12, 2017 3:17:32 AM

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I'd only exclusively heard 'brainstorm' used to mean "a session of intensive discussion to solve problems or generate ideas" my whole life. It's a very common word used in classes and meetings. I realize now in BE it has an entirely different meaning than its AE counterpart.

I think in AE, definition 2 would be called a 'brain fart'.
Drag0nspeaker
Posted: Friday, May 12, 2017 4:20:14 PM

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Quite possibly, in some social groups in Britain, it is used the same way (in jobs I've had, we tended to 'discuss' or 'cooperate' or 'work together to solve problems' by doing the usual correct actions - not sit around coming up with 'new ideas', which is my idea of brainstorming).
That definition is there in the British dictionaries - after the more common meanings.

In the American Oxford, it is the opposite way around.

You're right - 'brain fart' is another term for that meaning.


Wyrd bið ful aræd - bull!
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