Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Pushing Envelopes

Wherein type envelope more than afew times and it just starts to look weird


Over at Alan Sepinwall's post about HIMYM: Shattered Glass, language pet peeves were discussed in the comments. A popular one was the proper use of pushing the envelope, or edge thereof, and how it was used in the The Right Stuff. Thanks to the internet there's no need to remember anything, just look it up!

Searching Tom Wolfe's The Right Stuff for all uses of "envelope."

  • page 8: One of the phrases that kept running through the conversation was "pushing the outside of the envelope." The "envelope" was a flight-test term referring to the limits of a particular aircraft's performance, how tight a turn it could make at such-and-such a speed, and so on. "Pushing the outside," probing the outer limits, of the enveloped seemed to be the great challenge and satisfaction of flight test. At first, "pushing the outside of the envelope" was not a particularly terrifying phrase to hear.
  • page 10: pushing the outside of the envelope
  • page 83: He always knew where the outside of the envelope was
  • page 113: pushed the outside of the envelopes
  • page 148: probing the outer limits of the envelope
  • page 160: hole in the supersonic envelope
  • page 331: They knew where the outside of the envelope was
  • page 337: where the limits of the envelope
  • page 339: The outside of the envelope!
  • page 344: Up above 100,000 feet the plane's envelope

4 Comments:

Blogger XWL said...

Seems like calling it the "Supersonic Hymen" would have been a more fitting metaphor.

11/14/2007 08:05:00 PM  
Blogger Chance said...

That's weird; I have never heard anyone say "pushing the outside of the envelope," or the "limits" or anything else except just pushing the plain old envelope.

11/14/2007 08:05:00 PM  
Blogger bill said...

Chance, I'm all about the education. Make sure you write this one down in your notebook of "Things I learned Today." You do have one? Doesn't everyone?

11/15/2007 07:54:00 AM  
Blogger bill said...

xwl, brings new meaning to "breaking the sound barrier" and all the shaking and breaking up as the speed of sound was approached. In the movie it was depicted very orgasmically.

11/15/2007 07:56:00 AM  

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