To do "in the spirit of the chase"

Posted by Word Camel on February 11, 2002

In Reply to: To do "in the spirit of the chase" posted by Pepe on February 11, 2002

: I'm a Mexican pursuing a better understanding of english. I found this phrase in a recent article and I would love to find out if my interpretation was correct. After a whole day of research, my best try is "to do something with the best intention" either mistakenly or correctly. Any expert opinion?

: Sincere Thanks,
: Pepe
: P.S.: Sorry if it's a too naive question

It's not a naive question at all. I think it means to do a something for it's own sake, whether or not there is a practical outcome.

If you think of fox hunting - which is where I think this phrase may come from - anyone can hunt down a fox and kill it without wearing ridiculous clothing, riding horses, unleashing the hounds or tooting horns. But fox hunting isn't simply about hunting foxes. It's a social gathering. The chase is just as much fun if the fox isn't caught. It might even be more fun - for the fox at least. Most of the participants don't really want a dead fox, but they pursue it in the spirit of the chase.