Sunday, June 01, 2008

Explaining a cliche

Our translator/interpreter Dino asked us today what "Push the Envelope" was supposed to mean. Like me trying to figure out Bosnian expressions, in this one he know what each of the individual words means but not the whole. He speculated that he had to do with bribery since it sounds like someone sliding a cache of money across a table to someone. Drew explained no, it was an expression from aviation, referring to the usual spaces up, down and across that a plane could go. Going up to the limit -- or beyond -- is a bold test of what's possible. I didn't know the origins of this idiom either.

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