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Howard S. says
It would be most awkward on the part of any commenters to try to win an audience saying 'he/she succumbed to the guillotine'. Obviously, they cut your head off not asking your permission. Wrong. If you don't have the head owner's permission, leave it
Becky Katz says
Webster definitions would allow volition: you succumb to temptation, your wife, or give up a loosing battle. Wounds, illnesses, or poisons would not have this negotiating aspect of volition - they are overpowering.
Chris Mills says
It's more often in British English. I don't feel much concerned with their ways.
Wayne Brown says
If you care to say that when you become shot, your choice is to be shot down, fine with me, why should I question your language use. Do you choose to die - do you say, 'what the heck or hell, I just die right now, to be a nice guy' (succumb) ?
Brian L. Powell says
No, Webster does not promote the humility as to die for others' wishes. Webster does not imply resistance in the word 'succumb' itself. 'Stretcher bearers!' (would you look up the etymology?)
Woody Marx says
Stay inanimate over the Charlie, should you want to belong the 'most humans' ;)
'To succumb' can be only an act of volition. A human decides to get along, or if overpowered, couldn't be assumed willing. If you look it up with the Webster, you get the passive voice for the active, if there should be overpowering.
'His legs succumbed' shows the cognitive distance to the body part to fail. Legs don't have independent volition. You don't yet say you 'succumbed to a bullet/quillotine, etc. If someone robs you, it's not submissiveness if you can't defend yourself.
With that explanation I understand what you're asking for and the answer is No.
Thanks! I found this use the media and wondered if it really was correct. Myself, I'd never say someone 'succumbed' when he or she would be unable to act according to own volition. The media use is probably some overgeneralized dramatic narrative.
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