claim

claim verb.
There are several areas of difficulty with this word. The first concerns claim + that, and the second claim + to. The third concerns the expression to claim responsibility.
1. claim + that. In this construction, claim should not be used as a mere synonym for allege, assert, declare, maintain, say, etc., but should contain an element of argued contention:

• He claimed that adding VAT to domestic fuel and power would help create a greener and cleaner world by stimulating the use of more energy efficiency measures —Environment Digest, 1990

• ☒ The Sun claims that the Stonebridge council estate in north London ‘is Britain's tinderbox where Los Angeles-style riots could explode at any time’ —New Statesman, 1992.

2. claim + to. Fowler objected to the use of this construction when the subject of claim is not the same as the subject of the infinitive; so I claim to be honest is acceptable but ☒ I claim this to be honest is not. Passive constructions such as

• ☒ This central Asian wine was claimed to be drinkable for up to 10 years —Oxford Companion to Wine, 2000

would also be rejected on the same principle.
The weight of current usage, however, has all but overturned this rule, and it is principally on grounds of style that alternative constructions using assert, contend, maintain, etc., might be preferred.
3. claim responsibility for. In news reports, it is often said that a particular group claimed responsibility for (an attack, bombing, etc.). The objection is that the use of claim implies something laudable or desirable, whereas a terrorist attack is neither. Alternative expressions such as accept or admit responsibility or declare that (they were responsible) avoid these sensitivities, but claim is likely to remain by far the commonest verb used in this connection in the mass media.

Modern English usage. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • claim — n [Old French, from clamer to call, claim, from Latin clamare to shout, proclaim] 1 a: a demand for something (as money) due or believed to be due; specif: a demand for a benefit (as under the workers compensation law) or contractual payment (as… …   Law dictionary

  • claim — A right to payment (SA Bankruptcy.com) A right to payment, whether or not fixed, contingent, liquidated, disputed, or matured. (Bernstein s Dictionary of Bankruptcy Terminology) BAR DATE The date by which claims must be filed with the Bankruptcy… …   Glossary of Bankruptcy

  • claim — claim; claim·ant; claim·er; claim·less; de·claim; dis·claim·ant; dis·claim·er; ex·claim·er; non·claim; pro·claim·er; re·claim·able; re·claim·ant; re·claim·er; sub·claim; ac·claim; coun·ter·claim; dis·claim; ex·claim; pro·claim; re·claim;… …   English syllables

  • claim — vb *demand, exact, require Analogous words: *maintain, assert, defend, vindicate, justify: allege, *adduce, advance Antonyms: disclaim: renounce Contrasted words: disavow, disown, dis acknowledge (see affirmative verbs at ACKNOWLEDGE): reject,… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Claim — Claim, n. [Of. claim cry, complaint, from clamer. See {Claim}, v. t.] 1. A demand of a right or supposed right; a calling on another for something due or supposed to be due; an assertion of a right or fact. [1913 Webster] 2. A right to claim or… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • claim — [klām] vt. [ME claimen < OFr claimer, to call, claim < L clamare, to cry out: see CLAMOR] 1. to demand or ask for as rightfully belonging or due to one; assert one s right to (a title, accomplishment, etc. that should be recognized) [to… …   English World dictionary

  • Claim — may refer to: Claim (legal) Claim (patent) Land claim Proposition, a statement which is either true or false A right Sequent, in mathematics A main contention, see conclusion of law This disambiguation page lists articles associ …   Wikipedia

  • Claim — Claim, v. i. To be entitled to anything; to deduce a right or title; to have a claim. [1913 Webster] We must know how the first ruler, from whom any one claims, came by his authority. Locke. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Claim — (Englisch Behauptung, Anspruch) bezeichnet: im angelsächsischen Raum im Rechtswesen einen Anspruch im angelsächsischen Raum einen Rechtstitel auf Grundbesitz, siehe Claim (Grundbesitz) einen Begriff aus dem Marketing, siehe Claim (Werbung) als… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Claim — [kleim] der, auch das; [s], s <aus gleichbed. engl. claim zu to claim »beanspruchen«, dies über altfr. clamer »(aus)schreien« aus lat. clamare »rufen, schreien«>: 1. Anrecht, Rechtsanspruch, Patentanspruch (Rechtsw.). 2. Anteil (z. B. an… …   Das große Fremdwörterbuch

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.