Posted by Yogi on June 26, 2003
In Reply to: Burning your bridges posted by Bob on June 24, 2003
: : does anyone know what "burning your bridges" means since I have heard it in quite a few songs and don't understand it.
: "Don't burn your bridges behind you" is good literal advice for
an army. If they have to retreat, they could be trapped, unable
to move from a riverbank.
: It's also good advice for the rest of us in a metaphorical sense. Don't tell off the boss on your last day of work, for example. Someday you might -might - need to work there again, or he may show up to replace your new boss at the next job six months from now. Always leave people on good terms - you never know when you may meet them again.
Did somebody mention burning brides?
Back on topic - if a commander wanted to make sure that an army could only advance, they would sometimes burn the bridges they had passed - but it means that there is a nightmare of a logistics problem trying to re-supply the force, so it tends to mean a dramatic gesture done for effect that has the consequence of both preventing you going back and causing other problems.