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answer looking for a problem

English translation: Ingenious method or device which has no obvious purpose, but for which such a purpose might some day be found.

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:answer looking for a problem
English translation:Ingenious method or device which has no obvious purpose, but for which such a purpose might some day be found.
Entered by: Rabeya Akhter
Options:
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17:52 Mar 12, 2008
English to English translations [Non-PRO]
General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters
English term or phrase: answer looking for a problem
"Micowave has been an answer looking for a problem." Could anyone please explain what does it mean?
Rabeya Akhter
Singapore
Local time: 19:35
I know what it generally means, but I don't see that it makes much sense here
Explanation:
An answer looking for a problem is some ingenious method or device which has no obvious purpose, but for which such a purpose might some day be found. But microwaves are obviously extremely useful, so I don't see why anyone should say this about them.

Or do you really mean "micowave" as you printed it? I Googled it and couldn't find anything except obvious typos for microwave.
Selected response from:

Jack Doughty
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:35
Grading comment
Thank you Jack!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
4 +5I know what it generally means, but I don't see that it makes much sense here
Jack Doughty
4 -2no need to look for its problems
Leticia Klemetz, CT


Discussion entries: 2





  

Answers


6 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): +5
I know what it generally means, but I don't see that it makes much sense here


Explanation:
An answer looking for a problem is some ingenious method or device which has no obvious purpose, but for which such a purpose might some day be found. But microwaves are obviously extremely useful, so I don't see why anyone should say this about them.

Or do you really mean "micowave" as you printed it? I Googled it and couldn't find anything except obvious typos for microwave.

Jack Doughty
United Kingdom
Local time: 12:35
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 370
Grading comment
Thank you Jack!
Notes to answerer
Asker: Thanks, Jack. It is "microwave" and was written shortly after the microwave technology was invented. Sorry for the typo.


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  AKhram
1 min
  -> Thank you.

agree  Tony M: Microwave technology in general was developed before most people had any kind of appreciation of the possibilites it might offer; this was a case where the availability of the technology led to applications being found, instead of the other way round.
9 mins
  -> Thank you. I didn't know that.

agree  Can Altinbay: Good point, Tony!
28 mins
  -> Thank you.

agree  Vicky Nash
45 mins
  -> Thank you

agree  V_N
6 days
  -> Thank you.
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4 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 4/5Answerer confidence 4/5 peer agreement (net): -2
no need to look for its problems


Explanation:
Microwaving (use of microwave ovens) provides practical solutions, yet a lot of people insist in finding the negative sides to it, or side effects. I think the writer here is defending the microwave technology use, and complains that there is no need to look for its problematic sides.

(which I, personally, am aware it has). Hope it helps. Does this fit the context?

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 8 mins (2008-03-12 18:00:56 GMT)
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I think it still fits, if it's for the microwave technology... It is also used in cellphones for example (convenient, but cancer-inducing)

Leticia Klemetz, CT
Sweden
Local time: 13:35
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in SpanishSpanish, Native in SwedishSwedish
Notes to answerer
Asker: Its not the microwave oven, its the microwave technology in general.


Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
disagree  Tony M: I think you are completely misinterpreting this very idiomatic expression. / There is really no doubt, it's a set expression, and no amount of context could make it mean anything else.
13 mins
  -> I see your comment about the other answer, and it also sounds good to me. Thing is, without a context it's possible to interpret it in many ways. Thanks for your comment.

disagree  Can Altinbay: Tony is right, and the expression means what it means. I don't see how context could possibly affect its meaning.
31 mins
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Changes made by editors
Mar 12, 2008 - Changes made by Tony M:
LevelPRO » Non-PRO
Mar 12, 2008 - Changes made by Tony M:
FieldArt/Literary » Other
Field (specific)Linguistics » General / Conversation / Greetings / Letters


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