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Taking orders

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"That's a tall order," I said to someone today. Which got me to thinking:

Why is the order "tall"? Why isn't it a wide order, or a deep order?

And then there's "short order," as in cooks. Why do "tall order" and "short order" have different contexts?

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( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Feb. 12th, 2013 12:21 pm (UTC)
A tall order is when..."You have bitten off more than you can chew"
patrick_vecchio
Feb. 13th, 2013 12:19 am (UTC)
I am resisting the temptation to respond with a cliché.
sahlah
Feb. 12th, 2013 12:53 pm (UTC)
Imagine learning English as your second language. Some of this you would never figure out. My co-worker speaks Russian - frequently she will ask me to square up idiomatic things she hears. Try explaining "cold turkey" to someone. *smile*
patrick_vecchio
Feb. 13th, 2013 12:18 am (UTC)
I think I read once that English is the hardest language to learn.

As someone who grades hundreds of student papers a year, I'm inclined to agree.
(Anonymous)
Feb. 13th, 2013 02:30 am (UTC)
Then add the cultural aspects like Stayin' Chill or "Bein' Phat!"
patrick_vecchio
Feb. 13th, 2013 03:47 am (UTC)
I learned from students Monday that "ratchet" is an adjective that refers to someone who is grossly unkempt.
nodressrehersal
Feb. 18th, 2013 03:14 am (UTC)
"But what does that meeeean," she wailed. I get "chill" because it makes sense. "Phat" - not so much; surly youths say that. And they say "word" - for "ain't that the truth" or "that's right" but "ratchet" - I don't get it.
patrick_vecchio
Feb. 18th, 2013 03:32 am (UTC)
Even after they explained, it made no sense.
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )

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