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Help on English vocab, including idioms, slang and sayings

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Postby carolgrey » Fri Sep 14, 2012 1:55 am

If an army "requisitioned" a land from a private owner, does it USUALLY mean:

1) the army formally asked for the land, or
2) the army already forcefully took the land?

Dictionaries seem to have both meanings.
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Re: Requisition?

Postby Josef » Fri Sep 14, 2012 6:46 pm

Usually, it would mean that the army took the land (forcefully if the owner resisted) after going through the formal process of issuing a "requisition order" or similar. So there is both formality and (potential) force involved, which is perhaps why dictionaries "seems to have both meanings".

A similar word is "commandeer" where there no formality involved. Here is an example:

- The police car would not start, so the police commandeered my car so that they could chase the thief.

In time of war, I suspect that the army would have commandeered the land from your unfortunate owner since there would have been no time for formality.
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