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Re: "a bridge too far"

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on August 11, 2005

In Reply to: "A bridge too far" posted by nast on August 11, 2005

: Is the expression "a bridge too far" close to "sour grapes"

Nowhere near. "Sour grapes" comes from one of Aesop's fables: a fox tried to steal some grapes from a vine, but when he couldn't reach them he stalked off saying "Huh! They're sour anyway". Thus "sour grapes" means badmouthing something because you can't have it. "A bridge too far" is the title of a book (and subsequently a film) about the Arnhem Landings, an operation in World War II in which the Allies attempted to seize three major bridges over the Rhine with airborne troops. The attempt failed, and one of the generals who had planned it said "I always though we were trying to go a bridge too far". I wouldn't have said that the quotation had become an "expression"; if it did, it would mean something like "biting off more than you can chew".