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a supermarket filled with vicious long-distance runners

English translation: An Unfortunate Event!

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:a supermarket filled with vicious long-distance runners
English translation:An Unfortunate Event!
Entered by: jerrie
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21:33 Mar 26, 2003
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
Art/Literary
English term or phrase: a supermarket filled with vicious long-distance runners
There is no context.
The author gives examples for unpleasant situations.
arita
nightmare scenario
Explanation:
supermarket shopping can be a nightmare at the best of times - trolleys pushed into the back of your legs, groups standing chatting in front of the display you need to get at, families taking up the whole of an aisle, a 5 hour wait at the the check-out...

Add to this 'vicious long distance runners', who are all bunched together in a pack, because there is no 'pace-maker'. Shoving, barging, elbows in the ribs, spikes in the shins, a few falls....

a nightmare scenario for sure!
hth

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Note added at 2003-03-26 22:29:05 (GMT)
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I wish I could draw...this would make an excellent cartoon, kind of Kliban style: 101 Things to avoid on a Sunday afternoon!

Add lots of bad-temper, sweating brows, flying water bottles, maybe even \'grandma\' from the (was it Giles?) cartoons!

Selected response from:

jerrie
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:59
Grading comment
I am Thai. English is not my first language so I’m not sure about this phrase particularly the word “runners”.

It came from “A Series of Unfortunate Events” Book 7 by Lemony Snicket. The author’s writing style is sometimes sarcastic.

Thank you very much for everyone.

4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +6nightmare scenario
jerrie
5 +1I suppose if such a supermarket could be found, . . .Fuad Yahya
3 +3Possibly...
Libero_Lang_Lab


  

Answers


5 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +3
Possibly...


Explanation:
... a reference to the fact that runners (middle distance more than long distance I would say) have a habit of jostling each other out of the way with their elbows. A supermarket aisle full of such types would make navigating your shopping basket along and plucking tinned items off the shelves a bit stressful.

But it's an odd image to be sure

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Note added at 2003-03-26 22:08:37 (GMT)
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\"A good image suggests its intended meaning with ease and grace, then leaves extra room for a fertile imagination to expand on it. \"

Hmmm - and with that one phrase he dismissed the essence of several hundred years of the best literature.

And for your next trick....?

Libero_Lang_Lab
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:59
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in pair: 137

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Will Matter: odd yes, but not as odd as the fact that this is here & doesn't appear to need translation, hmmmm.
28 mins
  -> it's english monolingual - the asker just wants an explanation....

agree  xxxIno66
35 mins

neutral  jerrie: not odd...just ridiculous and random! (And very unpleasant...I forgot to mention odours, flying water bottles...etc..I could get quite into this one : - ))
40 mins

agree  Yuri Geifman: where did that quotation come from?
52 mins
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6 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +6
nightmare scenario


Explanation:
supermarket shopping can be a nightmare at the best of times - trolleys pushed into the back of your legs, groups standing chatting in front of the display you need to get at, families taking up the whole of an aisle, a 5 hour wait at the the check-out...

Add to this 'vicious long distance runners', who are all bunched together in a pack, because there is no 'pace-maker'. Shoving, barging, elbows in the ribs, spikes in the shins, a few falls....

a nightmare scenario for sure!
hth

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 2003-03-26 22:29:05 (GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

I wish I could draw...this would make an excellent cartoon, kind of Kliban style: 101 Things to avoid on a Sunday afternoon!

Add lots of bad-temper, sweating brows, flying water bottles, maybe even \'grandma\' from the (was it Giles?) cartoons!



jerrie
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:59
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 773
Grading comment
I am Thai. English is not my first language so I’m not sure about this phrase particularly the word “runners”.

It came from “A Series of Unfortunate Events” Book 7 by Lemony Snicket. The author’s writing style is sometimes sarcastic.

Thank you very much for everyone.

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Libero_Lang_Lab
13 mins

agree  Will Matter
25 mins

agree  xxxIno66
34 mins
  -> Thanks!

agree  marinagil: like mad, consumption-feverish marathoners
42 mins
  -> Yes, about 5,000 of them!

agree  Amy Williams
52 mins

agree  Refugio: The "runners" in my local supermarket are unsupervised children racing and chasing one another in and out of the aisles. They are not "vicious" unless you try to get them not to do it. ;~}
2 hrs
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15 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5 peer agreement (net): +1
I suppose if such a supermarket could be found, . . .


Explanation:
. . . (filled with vicious long-distance runners or vicious anything else) it would be unpleasant. The quesion is: Why is this writer singling out long-distance runners? Why are they labeled "vicious"? What is so vicious about runners - long-destance or otherwise.

Perhaps the writer meant something else by "runners." The word has so many different meanings. The only ones that seem vicious enough are the following:

1. a smuggler: a narcotics runner.
2. a vessel engaged in smuggling.

But if that is the meaning, why do we have the modifier "long-distance"?

I am not sure this item in the list of unpleasant situations makes much sense.

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Note added at 2003-03-27 01:00:35 (GMT) Post-grading
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Typo correction: long-distance or otherwise.

Fuad Yahya
Native speaker of: Native in ArabicArabic, Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in pair: 893

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
neutral  Libero_Lang_Lab: I think there's one kind of runner in the frame here. I think jerrie has explained it pretty well. "Why are they labelled vicious" - let your imagination run free...it's a colourful metaphor - no point in going for a literalist analysis
4 mins
  -> It is a colorless image at best (certainly not a metaphor). A good image suggests its intended meaning with ease and grace, then leaves extra room for a fertile imagination to expand on it. This one leaves normal minds stumped.

agree  Will Matter: waste of time for all of us
19 mins

neutral  jerrie: I guess that makes me abnormal, then! I can picture this scenario quite clearly, and it would be very unpleasant indeed!
27 mins
  -> Self diagnoses are allowed on this page.

neutral  Amy Williams: no Jerrie, you're certainly not abnormal!-seems pretty clear to me.
47 mins
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