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No Brainer

Posted by TheFallen on October 16, 2002

In Reply to: "All the depth . . ." posted by Bookworm on October 16, 2002

: : : : : : : There is a sarcastic expression, now a bit dated, used like this: "his analysis had all the depth of a saltine cracker". This is a U.S. expression. I wonder what similar phrases have developed in other parts of the English speaking world, and also what more recent ones may have developed in America. Thanks! - Patty

: : : : : : I'm not sure this counts, but when Denis Healey, was Chancellor of the Exchequer, Geoffrey Howe, a Tory attacked his budget proposals in parliament. Healey said it was "rather like being savaged by a dead sheep." I always rather liked that one.

: : : : : Howe got his own back on Healey by saying a beating from Denis was like "being cherished by a dead savage."

: : : : Hmmm... Interesting stuff. But the phrase I brought up is more sarcastic toward the reasoning or the argument, more a matter of a lack of profundity (shallowness) in something put forward. The phrases suggested so far are more ad hominem, I think. Maybe I'm more interested in phrases refering to shallow expressions or statements, of which even intelligent people are sometimes guilty. - Patty

: : : I see your point. The only think I can think of - at least in my own experience is the expression, "That's a no-brainer." As a response to a very poor argument or proposal. I don't think that's quite what you mean though. Given the state of debate both here and in the UK, you'd think there would be more expressions for this.

: : Maybe the state of brains explains why there aren't.

: Interesting. I've always used "no-brainer" when one choice was so much better or obvious than another that it was a "no-brainer" to choose it.

...which is exactly the only way that I have ever used it - albeit I confine this phrase to the workplace. It's an admittedly hideous term to find oneself using, and ranks with such horrors as quantum leap and paradigm shift etc. However, my excuse is that I fairly frequently have to have meetings with Microsoft management, and such phrases form part of the only language that they understand.

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