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  1. jannert

    jannert Retired Mod Supporter Contributor

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    Boiled asparagus

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by jannert, Dec 21, 2016.

    Just reading a (published) book where people might 'run away as quickly as boiled asparagus.'

    It did stop me cold for a period of head-scratching. I thought it was the strangest comparison ever ...then I sort of 'got' it.
     
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  2. SethLoki

    SethLoki Retired Autodidact Contributor

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    Well thanks for that. I head-scratched for longer than a period and then took to Google. Where now, after learning a line of latin, only too 'sort of get it'.

    Sooner than Sparage can be sodden can't be said for my speed on the uptake!
     
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  3. Hypatios

    Hypatios New Member

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    It's one of the weirder phrases Augustus coined.
     
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  4. jannert

    jannert Retired Mod Supporter Contributor

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    green.png
    In fact, I found it in a fiction book about Romans in Britain. Funny.
     
  5. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    Boiled asparagus is blaspheme. Frying pan and butter is the way to go. Or raw. Raw asparagus is quite good. :D
     
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  6. Mumble Bee

    Mumble Bee Keep writing. Contributor

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    I thought all asparagus was fried... that's what I get for living in Texas.
     
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  7. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    Mmmm, butter...
     
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  8. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Aunt? Supporter Contributor

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    There used to be a show on Discovery (or NatGeo, or TLC, or Foodies, or....) called something like "The Science of Food". One episode went through how to best cook various vegetables and the science of why. Apparently, asparagus, has some flavorful chemical in it that breaks down in water, while one of the other vile, not fit to be fed to rabbits, horrid horrid why do you hate me so much, Mother greens has the same problem with oils, and should never be fried, always steamed or boiled.

    IMHO, however, while they might be okay as a side, fundamentally, vegetables are what food eats.

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. jannert

    jannert Retired Mod Supporter Contributor

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    Do I detect two token pickles and chillies? And maybe a couple of slices of melon?
     
  10. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Aunt? Supporter Contributor

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    There's some sausages, a couple of Japanese green (non-spicy) peppers, two shiitake mushrooms, an onion slice, and your melon is actually Japanese kabocha pumpkin. Ah, and kimchi in the top right.
     
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  11. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

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    I like mine grilled with a drizzle of balsamic reduction or steamed lightly with some hollandaise on top. YUM

    I can't tell you how many vegetables I grew up hating as a child because the only way I was exposed to them was canned or boiled to death. Asparagus, brussel sprouts, cabbage, beets...love 'em all now.
     
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  12. jannert

    jannert Retired Mod Supporter Contributor

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    I need to get out more.
     
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  13. peachalulu

    peachalulu Member Reviewer Contributor

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    My headscratch thought the sentence was missing something, something like - run as quick as someone trying to escape the scent of boiled asparagus.
     
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  14. jannert

    jannert Retired Mod Supporter Contributor

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    Yeah, that was the tack I took at first as well. But then, upon reflection, I got it. Bizarre.
     
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  15. BayView

    BayView Huh. Interesting. Contributor

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    I still don't get it...
     
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  16. Laurin Kelly

    Laurin Kelly Contributor Contributor

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    Yeah, I thought there was a word missing, and that the sentence should have read "run away as quickly as from boiled asparagus".
     
  17. minstrel

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Supporter Contributor

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    Me neither. Was Augustus routinely chased by boiled asparagus? Did ancient Rome have faster and more dangerous asparagus than we do in modern times? Will someone who gets this enlighten those of us who are culinarily challenged?
     
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  18. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    I remember reading, in one of my books about food, that there was an ancient Roman saying that translated to, "Do that in less time than it takes to cook asparagus."

    I could kinda sorta see that, if it were a very common saying, slowly transmogrifying into sayings that suggest that asparagus itself is fast.
     
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  19. minstrel

    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Supporter Contributor

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    I've never cooked asparagus. Is it fast? Faster than other vegetables?
     
  20. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    Very fast. About three minutes, assuming that you start with lots of already-boiling water.
     
  21. jannert

    jannert Retired Mod Supporter Contributor

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    It's very VERY easy to overcook asparagus.
     
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  22. Mckk

    Mckk Member Supporter Contributor

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    I quite enjoyed that comparison :D thought it's quirky! Not sure I "get" it per se - certainly I don't get how it's supposed to come across. However, in my mind, I promptly and happily imagined two pieces of animated asparagus literally running away on their stalks, like leaping out of the boiling water :D 'tis not an image I'd forget any time soon!

    What was the context when this was used? Are you sure it wasn't supposed to be funny? I didn't think there were any missing words in the line at all - just took asparagus as metaphor.
     
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  23. jannert

    jannert Retired Mod Supporter Contributor

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    No, there wasn't any subtext, which is what made it so bizarre. However, apparently it is a Roman-coined comparison, so its usage makes sense from a research point of view. I, too, got the image of asparagus running ...but then realised what it meant was that somebody might run away as fast as asparagus gets overcooked in boiling water. Not the literal time, of course, but the idea that it happens a lot quicker than you'd expect.
     
  24. Mckk

    Mckk Member Supporter Contributor

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    Yes, that's what I thought it might have meant, but I prefer my version of running vegetables :D much more amusing! Otherwise the phrase becomes rather... bland.
     
  25. GingerCoffee

    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I take it you are referring to, Morituri te Salutant: Those who are about to die, greet you, (not to suggest I was familiar with it, found with a quick search).
    Sounds to me like a nice example of how creative we can be with similes. And it might catch the readers attention at the same time.
     
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