Friday, February 19, 2010

English Lesson

Today's phrase: "There's more where that came from."

"TMWTCF" is a handy phrase that all students of English need to memorize. You might think that the abbreviated "There's more" would be sufficient for most situations, and the following four words are just extraneous, but a quick examination in context shows why they're required.

Say you're at a dinner party, and you've just had a piece of pie. Your host looks at your plate, nearly licked clean, and he says, "There's more!"

You want to shout, "Oh, yes, please!" but something deep inside stops you. Sure, there's more pie -- but from where? Is this secondary pie of the same quality as the first pie, or just some backup, emergency pie he found by the side of the road?

If the host had used the phrase "There's more where that came from" his guest would be spared the linguistic headache and instead merely has to ponder whether he wants it à la mode.

Other similar phrases, in decreasing order of specificity, are "There's more in that general neighborhood," "There's more of a kindred ilk," and "There's more, but we're fuzzy as to its provenance."

1 comment:

David said...

Thanks for the tip!

(to which I can only hope you'd respond properly)