ax to grind
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- (American spelling) A proposition or point of view to advocate, especially motivated by self-interest.
- 1976 July 8, New Scientist, volume 71, number 1008, page 77:
- The design has had a rather contentious journey through the various technical committees set up by the EEC to study the problem; individual member nations with particular axes to grind holding up the proceedings at regular intervals.
proposition or point of view
A reference to someone sharpening an axe with the intent to kill someone.
- (American spelling) A grudge or grievance, with implications of confrontation.
- 2019 February 27, David Seidenberg, “A Tikkun for Tikkun Olam? How ‘To Heal the World?’ Corrupts Debate & Endangers Judaism”, in Jewish Journal:
- If one is not just writing history but also trying to condemn and “demolish” one’s enemy, as Neumann is, you need a deeper level of introspection, and a high standard of proof. If not, it’s better to let “silence be a fence for wisdom.” (Pirkei Avot 3:13) It’s not possible to maintain the curiosity and openness you need for real research if you have such a big ax to grind.