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May 23, 2016

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On TV cop shows, after lead detectives get to the crime scene, they usually ask subordinates to "start a canvass" of the area. I take "canvass" here to mean, to look around the area to find witnesses to the crime who haven't yet come forward.

@Dan: Thanks for that observation. I hadn't been aware of it (not much of a cop-show watcher).

When someone wants me to stop what I'm doing to answer the door and talk about his candidate, is that for sport or punishment?

When I was younger, I volunteered a few times to canvass for the Heart and Stroke Foundation - I knocked on doors and asked for donations or pledges of future donations. Is this use of the term particularly Canadian?

Janelle: It's used that way (canvassing for a cause or nonprofit organization) in the U.S. as well. See http://grassrootscampaigns.com/why-we-canvass/ and http://inthesetimes.com/working/entry/17086/canvassing_for_progressive_causes_the_worst_job_in_town

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