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To get ahead

Posted by Weston on February 28, 2002

I'm a little confused when I look closely at the common north american expression "to get ahead". I believe it could mean one of three things. It could mean to progress in life. It could mean to rise up beyond household costs, to stay out of debt. Or it could mean to get out ahead of the pack, to outdo your neighbors or social circle. Which is the main meaning?