phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at


Posted by Lewis on March 24, 2006

In Reply to: No reason at all posted by Brian from Shawnee on March 24, 2006

: : : : : : : hi there... I just wanna ask what is the real meaning of the phrase "the sum of all fears"

: : : : : : You probably already know that it's the title of a movie of 2002 based on a Tom Clancy book published earlier in the same year. The book begins with a quote: "Why, you may take the most gallant sailor, the most intrepid airman or the most audacious soldier, put them at a table together - what do you get? The sum of their fears." - Winston Churchill. .SS.

: : : : : Actually the Clancy book came out in 1991, post-Cold War but pre-9/11.

: : : : "pre-9/11" which year? 1991, I assume.

: : : : I joined much of the world in being disgusted and shocked at the twin-towers incident, but "9/11" is a date every year and 11th September happens to be my brother-in-law's birthday, so it means different things to different people.

: : : : Perhaps it is not helpful to simply name an incident as just a day/month. It needs a better title to distinguish it from all other 9/11s.

: : : : BTW I have never understood why it is month/day/year in the US - logically it should be day/month/year or year/month/day because that is the natural progression for dates. anybody know why and how long that format has been used?

: : : : L

: : : My son recently tried to stump me by asking "What do they call the 4th of July in England?" I won't spoil it by giving the answer, but I will ask why, when discussing a spy thriller written by an American guy, involving a joint Arab-East German terrorist attack in the United States, it wouldn't make sense to categorize it as having been written between the "Cold War" and "9/11"?

: : I will admit that when I first read the post, I didn't notice that it began 'in 1991' - what I noted was that it said "after the Cold War and pre-9/11" - as if the Cold War was as definable an event as the destruction of the twin towers - perhaps it was between say 23rd March (armistice day in the Cold War) and 11th September that year.

: : I then noticed that it did say 'in 1991' and the mention of 9/11 then made me think about the folly of using dates as short-hand for events. much better to say D-Day for 6/6/1945 than "remember 6/6?"

: : on the subject of '66

: : In England "1966" is the antidote to "1066" with the English equating winning The World Cup with permanently losing sovreignty to invaders. People in Britain know that "1966" means winning the world cup and all that went with it, so I can't claim any superiority for the British on the issue of dates, but it still seems wrong that events on one day should dominate a calendar - "4th July" is another example really. At least the French celebrate "Bastille Day" rather than just calling it 14th July, even if they call it the "Fete Nationale" to confuse us.

: : I recently saw a calendar entirely of Saints' days and it was fascinating - but to me, days and months are more useful and I'd rather not have them usurped as shorthand for events.

: : and a happy 25/12 to you all.

: : L

: There were lots of D-Day's and H-Hour's during The War (World War Two, that is). But there's one D-Day that stands apart from the rest. As I sit here picturing Lewis wishing we could edit these posts, I'm guessing that there may have been a D-Day on some Pacific island on 6/6/1945.

We're about to have "A-Day" when various pension rules change. Probably seen as Ambush-Day by the government, although I think the legislators had delusions of grandeur when promoting it. Will we all remember where we were on A-Day? I hope n ot.

it is funny how all the notable date/days that come to mind involve loss of life - perhaps it is a reflection of only bad news being 'newsworthy' : being positive, maybe a drug will be launched that 'cures' cancer - now that would be worth having C-Day for.

PS editing posts would be very h andy on occasion.