Posted by R. Berg on September 10, 2003
In Reply to: Phrases posted by EAH on September 10, 2003
: : 1."There was no school for 40 days becasue of the SARS and I have to make up time."
: : (How to make up time?)
: "Make up time" refers to doing the work, which should have been accomplished in (missed time period), in a shorter amount of time.
: : 2.
: : "Cool facts about Mars
: : A bit of a dry year: The last time it rained on Mars was about 3 billion years ago.
: : You'd have more time on Mars: ...."
: : (Is "A bit of a" a fixed saying? Do you have any examples?)
: "A bit of a" may mean "small" or, more frequently,
: understates a larger, more important, or serious issue...
: "a bit of a" problem, ...miracle, ...bully
: : 3.(it's a joke; could you explain "pressing down with his thumb."?)
: : Mrs Fleshman goes to the butcher's shop to buy a chicken for Sunday lunch. The butcher has only one small chicken left and he puts it on the scale.
: : "Three pounds," he says.
: : "That's much too small; don't you have anything bigger?" Mrs Fleshman asks.
: : He pretends to look around for another one, and then puts the same chicken back on the scale, pressing down with his thumb.
: : "Three and a half pounds," he says.
: : "That looks better," says Mrs Fleshman. "I'll take them both."
: : Great thanks to your attention!
: To increase the apparent weight, the butcher exerts a downward force on the scale with his thumb. Mrs. Fleshman is not fooled by this trick. Her statement "I'll take them both" implys that the butcher should chop his thumb off and add it to her order.
Sorry, but I interpret the joke differently. I believe Mrs. F is fooled by the trick and she sincerely believes the butcher has two chickens. I don't believe she's thinking anything about his thumb.