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change signals!

English translation: whoops, change tracks! / ignore the previous message

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GLOSSARY ENTRY (DERIVED FROM QUESTION BELOW)
English term or phrase:change signals!
English translation:whoops, change tracks! / ignore the previous message
Entered by: Ken Cox
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21:12 Nov 8, 2008
English to English translations [PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature
English term or phrase: change signals!
"The trouble with Art is that it doesn't pay a decent living wage unless you're willing to commercialize--"
"The trouble with Art is that it never did, except for a few chance lucky people--"
"The trouble with Art is women."
"The trouble with women is Art."
"The trouble with Art--with women, I mean--change signals! -- What do l mean?"
Stephen Vincent Benet. _Young People's Pride_. (1920!) Full text is here: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/8403

Is it a suggestion to change the subject? What signals are meant? (Radio? Back then?) Or is "signals" verb here?
Lew Belenk
whoops, change tracks!
Explanation:
Given the time this was written, I think the reference is to railway signals (figuratively of course), and what he means is something like 'change tracks', which can mean changing to a different line of thought or a different subject, or that he's so confused that he can't keep track of what he means to say (he *is* apparently fairly intoxicated).

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Note added at 15 hrs (2008-11-09 13:08:53 GMT)
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Another interpretation that occurred to me is that it could mean 'ignore what I just said'. This is based on the background of the characters -- college-educated American males with military experience -- and the fact that certain gestures and words are often used to communicate instructions in team sports, especially baseball and American football, and on the battlefield. 'Change signals!' could thus mean 'ignore the information just communicated; new information (signals) is coming'.
Selected response from:

Ken Cox
Local time: 23:59
Grading comment
Thanks a lot!
4 KudoZ points were awarded for this answer

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Summary of answers provided
3 +5whoops, change tracks!Ken Cox
5changes his way of thinking his opinion or the way he conducts himself
shirin ghorab
3changing train of thought?
Marlene Blanshay


  

Answers


6 hrs   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5
changing train of thought?


Explanation:
or also change signals as in 'change channels', similar to jumping the tracks, quickly changing 'train of thought'...

Marlene Blanshay
Canada
Local time: 17:59
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
Login to enter a peer comment (or grade)

54 mins   confidence: Answerer confidence 3/5Answerer confidence 3/5 peer agreement (net): +5
whoops, change tracks!


Explanation:
Given the time this was written, I think the reference is to railway signals (figuratively of course), and what he means is something like 'change tracks', which can mean changing to a different line of thought or a different subject, or that he's so confused that he can't keep track of what he means to say (he *is* apparently fairly intoxicated).

--------------------------------------------------
Note added at 15 hrs (2008-11-09 13:08:53 GMT)
--------------------------------------------------

Another interpretation that occurred to me is that it could mean 'ignore what I just said'. This is based on the background of the characters -- college-educated American males with military experience -- and the fact that certain gestures and words are often used to communicate instructions in team sports, especially baseball and American football, and on the battlefield. 'Change signals!' could thus mean 'ignore the information just communicated; new information (signals) is coming'.

Ken Cox
Local time: 23:59
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish
PRO pts in category: 88
Grading comment
Thanks a lot!

Peer comments on this answer (and responses from the answerer)
agree  Armorel Young: I agree - I'm inclined to think it means "change the signals so that the train [of thought] goes down a different track
5 mins
  -> yep, at that level of drunkenness it's hard to tell when or whether he's talking to himself or to the others

agree  Gary D
7 hrs

agree  Phong Le
11 hrs

agree  Dana Rinaldi
11 hrs

agree  Caroline Moreno
5 days
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34 days   confidence: Answerer confidence 5/5
changes his way of thinking his opinion or the way he conducts himself


Explanation:
when someone is changing his signals that means hes changing his expressed ideas and opiinion and adopting new ideas usually an opposte ideas and opinions of what he used to beleive in

Example sentence(s):
  • Changing Signals,

    Reference: http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/changing-signals/
shirin ghorab
Local time: 16:59
Works in field
Native speaker of: Native in ArabicArabic
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Changes made by editors
Nov 10, 2008 - Changes made by Ken Cox:
Created KOG entryKudoZ term » KOG term


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