I have a question about this:

The Ukraine crisis may have settled into a phony truce, but the still-simmering conflict between Russia and the West has opened along a new front: McDonald's restaurants.

A crisis is an event. But a truce is an agreement. How does a crisis "settle into a truce"? An event cannot be in an agreement, so an event couldn't be in a truce, and therefore an event cannot "settle into a truce." Could the example sentence be wrong?

The Ukraine crisis may have settled into a phony truce, but the still-simmering conflict between Russia and the West has opened along a new front: McDonald's restaurants.

A crisis is an unstable condition. A truce is also a condition, that of a cessation of cease fire. So you have a condition settling into a condition.

Just like: his panic settled into a calm after he took his medicine.

  • So, it is one condition changing into another condition. Then, would "the Ukraine crisis may have turned into a phony truce" be better? – meatie Oct 22 '14 at 21:25
  • @meatie better, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. :) But seriously, I did not mean to say that the first condition (crisis) has gone away, just that it has been soothed. When I settle into my chair, I do not cease being me. The standing me becomes the sitting me. But yeah, the crisis has become a truce, but the whole situation may change into a crisis again. Think of it as an ongoing crisis that has taken the form of a truce, for the time being. The use of crisis to refer to a protracted condition is debated by some who think the word should be limited to a single event – user6951 Oct 22 '14 at 22:02
  • So, would "the crisis is currently in a truce" be standard English? – meatie Oct 22 '14 at 23:48
  • @meatie Actually the most idiomatic would be the original: the crisis has settled into a truce. Or has worked its way into a truce. Here, crisis has become anthropomorphic. What are actually is in a truce are the two warring sides, to use a common designation. But the armed conflict is only part of the crisis (unstable condition). But since it is the part that causes direct loss of life, it is the salient (outstanding) part of the crisis. – user6951 Oct 23 '14 at 5:08

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.