Example with a context:

Suspension is a common practice in the workplace for being in violation of an organization's policy, or major breaches of policy. Work suspensions occur when a business manager or supervisor deems an action of an employee, whether intentional or unintentional, to be a violation of policy that should result in a course of punishment, and when the employee's absence during the suspension period does not affect the company.

I was just wondering what this expression might really mean and how to correctly understand it. Any ideas?

2 Answers 2


This sentence is better parsed as

...should result in a course of punishment...

Here, course of punishment is equivalent to a plan for punishment. Course in this context is like a route/plan, as in an obstacle course or a race course.


This is course sense 5a:

5a) a regular manner of procedure ⇒ "the law must take its course"

So something like "an established procedure":

that should result in an established procedure of punishment

which is probably laid out in the company policy.

  • Can you cite the source of your definition? Just to be precise for fun, not to put down your quite good answer so far: "...should result in an established procedure of punishment" is unclear. Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 3:59
  • @JimReynolds The source (Collins) is linked above. I made up the example. Point is that "course" refers to those steps of "punishment" that are prescribed by some rules or policy, such as you lose your bonus, you lose your seniority, you get demoted, etc. The actual "course" would depend on the details of what happened.
    – user3169
    Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 6:49
  • Oh. I was looking for a blue word to signify a link. I'm saying that your example is unclear: what does it mean for something to result in a procedure? Commented Feb 6, 2015 at 7:03

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