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I’ve seen the word “purge” used in conjunction with “of” and “from” or being used on its own. However, would it be appropriate to say something like “I purged the information out from my brain?"

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  • It looks like you're asking whether "purge" plays nicely with "out" (and, by extension, "out from" and maybe "out of") given that it does play nicely with "of" and "from" on their own. Aug 9, 2016 at 12:50
  • books.google.com/ngrams/…
    – TimR
    Aug 9, 2016 at 14:51

3 Answers 3

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Here is a definition of this meaning of purge from the Oxford dictionary.

Rid (someone) of an unwanted feeling, memory, or condition

Here are two examples of the usage of purge from the Cambridge dictionary:

Party leaders have undertaken to purge the party of extremists.
Hard-liners are expected to be purged from the administration.

of denotes what you are getting rid of, and from denotes where you are taking it from. You could therefore express yourself as follows:

I purged the information from my brain.
I purged my brain of the information.

Note that the word out is not required in either sentence and its usage would sound uneducated.

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  • How about “I purged the information out of my brain?" Aug 9, 2016 at 7:44
  • @lightweaver: possible, but why use more words than you need to?
    – JavaLatte
    Aug 9, 2016 at 8:05
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    @lightweaver - "out" really isn't necessary here, because purge always means to take something out of something else. It sounds non-fluent.
    – stangdon
    Aug 9, 2016 at 8:37
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    Out is perfectly acceptable and it sounds fluent to me, it adds emphasis to the act of removal.
    – NibblyPig
    Aug 9, 2016 at 12:43
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    Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us - 1 Corinthians 5:7
    – NibblyPig
    Aug 9, 2016 at 12:49
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I purged the information out from my brain

Yup this is correct.

You can also say:

A) I purged my brain of information

and

B) I purged the information from my brain

They all mean the same thing.

A emphasises purging your brain. B emphasises purging the information.

Your original sentence, 'out' is not necessary but it is not incorrect. It just emphasises that the information came out.

Purge verb (used with object): to remove by cleansing or purifying (often followed by away, off, or out

Dictionary.com (Taken from Random House Dictionary)

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  • out from is not idiomatic, at least not with purge.
    – TimR
    Aug 9, 2016 at 10:13
  • to remove by cleansing or purifying (often followed by away, off, or out). from Dictionary.com
    – NibblyPig
    Aug 9, 2016 at 12:42
  • But not by out from.
    – TimR
    Aug 9, 2016 at 14:48
  • And I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel: and ye shall know that I am the LORD. Ezekiel 20:38
    – NibblyPig
    Aug 9, 2016 at 15:02
  • But we're not talking that way any more. Would you advise the OP to use "ye"? books.google.com/ngrams/…
    – TimR
    Aug 9, 2016 at 15:03
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Purge means "to remove all unneeded/unwanted items" or "to make empty."

Purge is weird because it takes an object, but that object can be the thing X needing items Y removed, or it can be the items Y that need to be removed from X.

Of and from allow us to tell which is which.

I purged the file of old data. (We're removing old data from the file.)

I purged old data from the file. (We're still removing old data from the file.)


However, would it be appropriate to say something like “I purged the information out from my brain?"

Out isn't technically needed since purge already means "to remove", which means the unwanted items will be outside of what they are removed from already, but it can be there for emphasis if desired. By emphasizing, you are creating the impression that it took much effort to purge the information from your brain, for example.

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  • Does this imply that the "out" of "purge out" does not function like the "out" of "take out"? I still have to wonder whether "purge out the tank" or "purge out the impurities" functions the same as "take out the garbage", which is itself distinct from "take the garbage" Aug 9, 2016 at 14:12
  • Not really. Take out means/impiles to carry whereas purge out doesn't. But you can see how a speaker/writer might use purge out in a related sense, e.g. "purge out the impurities" - impurities are a form of trash, but it does not mean physically carrying anything out like "take out the trash" does.
    – LawrenceC
    Aug 9, 2016 at 14:24
  • Granted, the object of "take" is always the thing removed while the object of "purge" is sometimes the thing removed and sometimes the container. On its own, "take" resembles "acquire". "Take out" resembles "remove". Neither needs to resemble "accompany", but either may. I'm just trying to verify that you see no semantic difference between "purge" and "purge out" by comparing it to the clear semantic difference between "take" and "take out". Aug 9, 2016 at 14:59
  • @GaryBotnovcan, you can "take out information" and you can also "take in information": the qualifier is necessary. You cannot "purge in information", so the out is redundant with purge.
    – JavaLatte
    Aug 9, 2016 at 15:33
  • One might clear a room, one might clear a room out, but I doubt that anyone might clear a room in. It doesn't seem that every use of "out" is paired with a use of "in". The sense of clearing a room can be limited to one's own presence, while the sense of clearing a room out cannot. The lack of a contrasting "in" isn't sufficient to label the "out" as redundant or uninformative. Aug 9, 2016 at 22:39

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