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#1 2009-12-23 05:13:49

tripc
Member
Registered: 2009-12-23
Posts: 1

"sufficed to say" or "suffice to say" for "suffice it to say"

I believe the correct idiom is “suffice it to say,” which what you’ll see if you look up “suffice” on Meriam-Webster.com. But “sufficed to say” and “suffice to say” sound pretty much the same when spoken, and they sort of make sense. I have seen these variations around, e.g.,

In the blogosphere:

I don’t feel like running through the whole list; sufficed to say that it includes about 10 guys . . .

http://mistakesports.blogspot.com/2009/ … dians.html

On Twitter:

Sufficed to say, I’m kinda worn out but it’s truly been an absolutely amazing work/stress free week. One more day in Paradise…

http://twitter.com/PenVsSword/status/6193841567

And elsewhere:

Suffice to say your bridal gown is not just a dress, it’s a creation.

http://www.sharonnaylor.net/bridestyle/ … Styles.pdf

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#2 2009-12-23 06:07:25

JuanTwoThree
Eggcornista
Registered: 2009-08-15
Posts: 324

Re: "sufficed to say" or "suffice to say" for "suffice it to say"

I think I can go one better:

Surface it to say that for maximum flexibility, be sure your laptop contains an expansion slot.

Surface it to say that it took a long time before we could pack up.

Surface it to say that such methods correspond with minor modifications, to those already described

Surface it to say at this point that the true arrow with a true antecedent will have a true consequent

Surface it to say that the runway was soon covered in tarmac and everyone was happy.

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#3 2009-12-23 18:29:56

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2118

Re: "sufficed to say" or "suffice to say" for "suffice it to say"

I think that you may have come to the eggcorn party, as my Irish friend says, with one hand as long as the other (to be intoned with a west Irish brogue that I can’t even begin to replicate). “Sufficed to say” doesn’t do much re-imaging and I can’t seem to connect up the semantics of “surface” and “suffice.”

Welcome to the forum, tripc.

Last edited by kem (2009-12-24 04:56:23)

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#4 2009-12-23 20:44:41

JuanTwoThree
Eggcornista
Registered: 2009-08-15
Posts: 324

Re: "sufficed to say" or "suffice to say" for "suffice it to say"

Surface it to say:

As a superficial explanation:

Without an in-depth analysis:

No?

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#5 2009-12-23 22:29:28

DavidTuggy
Eggcornista
From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-12
Posts: 1758
Website

Re: "sufficed to say" or "suffice to say" for "suffice it to say"

This doesn’t jive with the traditional meaning of “suffice it to say”, which was something like ‘it is enough to say X, (and any more would not only be unnecessary but might be offensive/tiresome/otherwise objectionable)’. The explanation that suffices will ideally be insightful, concise, and accurate, quite different from superficial.
.
If some use “suffice it to say” nowadays —and I think some do— to mean something more like ‘speaking off the cuff’ or ‘as a first approximation’, then the idea of a superficial explanation would fit better.


*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)

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#6 2009-12-24 04:12:57

David Bird
Eggcornista
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1171

Re: "sufficed to say" or "suffice to say" for "suffice it to say"

How about the possibility that “surface it to say” is an idiom blend between “surfaced to say” and “suffice it to say”. So the surfacing imagery is not related to superficiality but to coming out into the open.

Juan’s last example of “surface it to say” has got to be a pun or a WTFT.

Kem, your link didn’t lead me anywhere – is there a fix?

Last edited by David Bird (2009-12-24 04:17:22)

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#7 2009-12-24 04:57:01

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2118

Re: "sufficed to say" or "suffice to say" for "suffice it to say"

Kem, your link didn’t lead me anywhere – is there a fix?

Sorry. Fixed.

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#8 2009-12-24 07:20:51

patschwieterman
Administrator
From: California
Registered: 2005-10-25
Posts: 1665

Re: "sufficed to say" or "suffice to say" for "suffice it to say"

Like Kem, I have trouble making this look eggcornical. The “superficial” argument seems a bit hypersubtle (though it’s certainly better to be hypersubtle about the superficial than the other way around), and the huge gap in semantics between “surface to say” and “suffice it to say” makes the blending theory seem unlikely to me.

But I’m grateful to Kem for introducing that Irish idiom to us. Are your hands of equal length when you come empty-handed because having something in one hand would seem to extend the length of that hand? Or is it because when you’re holding something, your hand is partially clenched and therefore looks shorter? My guess would be the latter, but it’s a great phrase in any case.

Incidentally, Kem’s (now-nonbroken) link gives a good example of just how goofy Google numbers have gotten. Kem’s query returns two pages of hits. At the top of the first you see this:

Results 1 – 10 of about 3,010,000 for “with one hand as long as the other”. (0.11 seconds)

At the top of the second you see this:

Results 11 – 12 of 12 for “with one hand as long as the other”. (0.12 seconds)

I have no idea what’s going on there, but I’m convinced that a world that had 3,009,988 more hits for “with one hand as long as the other” would be a better one than ours.

If you get rid of the first “with,” Google returns nearly 20 million hits for Kem’s query. I’m skeptical.

Last edited by patschwieterman (2009-12-24 16:53:37)

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#9 2009-12-24 16:36:09

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2118

Re: "sufficed to say" or "suffice to say" for "suffice it to say"

Are your hands of equal length when you come empty-handed because having something in one hand would seem to extend the length of that hand?

It was explained to me as a story about arms—when you carry something in a bag, one arm be longer than tother. But this may be a folk etymology. Anyway, it seems to be one of the few IrEng idioms that hasn’t emigrated. Yet.

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#10 2012-12-08 14:41:24

burred
Eggcornista
From: Montreal
Registered: 2008-03-17
Posts: 937

Re: "sufficed to say" or "suffice to say" for "suffice it to say"

Language Log notes a variation of “suffice it to say” in the form of suffusive to say. A cupertino/eggcorn mix is the general drift. Here’s another – or is it? If it weren’t so twisted phonetically, it would be a shoe-in. Four hits.

Service it to say that vanity is a major cause of avoiding sounding vain.
http://www.lumma.org/words/forums/CKL-Tuning97-00.txt

Service it to say is conceivably not too far in meaning from suffice it. The rarity does make cupertino a distinct possibility, though.

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#11 2012-12-08 17:04:22

kem
Eggcornista
From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2118

Re: "sufficed to say" or "suffice to say" for "suffice it to say"

“Service it to say” seems eggcornish to me. There are a few more hits without the ‘it’

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#12 2012-12-20 08:38:25

Dixon Wragg
Eggcornista
From: Santa Rosa, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 633

Re: "sufficed to say" or "suffice to say" for "suffice it to say"

I have the impression that “suffice to say” is considered just as correct as “suffice it to say”, at least in recent years. Am I wrong about that?

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#13 2012-12-20 11:30:49

burred
Eggcornista
From: Montreal
Registered: 2008-03-17
Posts: 937

Re: "sufficed to say" or "suffice to say" for "suffice it to say"

Sounds like a job for N gram man

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