I was in a meeting last week with a guy who kept talking about flushing out his ideas and flushing out his marketing plan. Granted, some ideas should be flushed; however, I don’t think that’s what he meant.
This particular misuse of language happens all the time and drives me crazy. I think I’m a fairly reasonable person, but my patience has limits.
Here’s what Merriam-Webster says about whether or not you should flush out or flesh out your plans:
Think of fleshing out a skeleton. To flesh out something is to give it substance, or to make it fuller or more nearly complete.
To flush out something is to cause it to leave a hiding place, e.g., “The birds were flushed out of the tree.”
When you’re fleshing out a plan, you’re putting meat on the bone! End of story.