Weiyang Luo
Is the verb "founder" common in daily usage? I saw the word in an online dictionary and am just wondering how common it is in everyday conversations. I mean when it's used as ship sinking because of being filled with water or plan failing due to certain reasons. Do all native speakers know the word? Thanks.
Nov 15, 2018 1:34 AM
Answers · 7
I would guess that a little more than half of the natives with a college education know the word, and a much smaller percentage of the natives without a college education. It is not very common. If you use it, only use it in writing with a college-educated audience. (note: in the US, "college" means "college or university")
November 15, 2018
Thanks Su.Ki.
November 18, 2018
I agree that it's not in common usage. Only a relatively small proportion of the English-speaking population would know this word, and only a tiny proportion would have it in their active vocabulary. Many would confuse it with 'flounder'. There's probably an age factor as well as an education factor. A young maths graduate probably wouldn't know it, whereas an older, well-read non-graduate may well know it.
November 15, 2018
The dictionary has some examples.like Six drowned the the yacht foundered off the coast of Florida. The plan foundered on the issue of reform. But thanks for commenting, it's helpful to get a native speakers' perspective. :)
November 15, 2018
not really. Do you have any examples?
November 15, 2018
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Weiyang Luo
Language Skills
Chinese (Mandarin), English
Learning Language