phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Under the glass

Posted by Smokey Stover on November 30, 2003

In Reply to: Under the glass posted by MichaelFr on November 29, 2003

: : : Hi ! (bonjour !) the French guy again !

: : : I found this phrase in a novel : "that'd be OK most days but on this one you just said it yourself, we're under the glass."

: : : The context is two detectives talking about their ongoing inquiry, a hot topic for broadcasters and the population, as a celebrity in town has been slain. They have like a 48 hours deadline to find the murderer, and cannot consider being distracted in any way. "this one" in the text is meant for "this case".

: : : What is the meaning of "we're under the glass" ?

: : : Thanks, have a nice day.

: : Could mean they feel as if they're under a magnifying glass (this sounds most likely) -- that everyone else (including their bosses) is closely examining what they do/say, thus they must solve the case. In addition, anything under a magnifying glass is subject to heat, as light is focused upon it. Remember when as a child you made burned holes in dry leaves by putting them "under the glass"? So the "heat" is the pressure they feel.

: : They could also be referring to themselves as resting on a slide under a microscope "glass" -- same kind of implication, that they're under scrutiny and pressure.

: : Less likely: that they're under the type of glass dome used to protect and ripen fruit, at home.

: Thanks to all of you.

: Being "under a magnifier" makes sense.

: I will probably have in a near future more questions. I am reading "The silence of the lambs", and unable at times for a few phrases to get to their real meaning.

: You are welcome by the way to outline any grammar or formal mistakes that you could find in my messages. I have been ten years in the USA, but as a designer spending a lot of time in front of a screen with the same words over and over, I don't write that much, or get into discussions over serious topics. Thanks again.

: I am taking you at your word, Michael, so don't think I'm just being critical. My suggestions include: You are welcome... to point out any grammatical ... mistakes.... Grammar is a noun, and with grammatical so easily available, not the right modifier for mistakes. Next: I will probably have in a near future.... Well, since there's only one future, generally speaking, say THE near future. And further: They have like a 48 hours deadline... and cannot consider being distracted... "this one" in the text is meant for "this case." It is very slangy (and juvenile slang at that) to say "They have LIKE a 48 hours deadline...." Just omit "like"; and if you have to say that, put commas fore and aft, as it is parenthetical. Then, "48 hours deadline." Better: a 48-hour deadline. The hyphen shows that 48 modifies hour, not deadline. Cannot consider being distracted. Better: "cannot afford to be distracted." Finally, although "this one" is a direct quote and not capitalized in the original, if you start a sentence with it capitalize the first letter anyway, i.e. "This one" ....Or rewrite the sentence to make some other word the first one. Actually, you can't expect to master idiomatic English in only ten years, especially if those ten years have been as an adult. I expect that if I had been living in France I would still be unable to understand a word spoken to me in it, unless the speaker were to treat me as a baby and speak baby French--very slowly. SS