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Gee, that's a stretch

Discussion in 'English Only' started by hly2004, Nov 9, 2007.

  1. hly2004 Senior Member

    chinese
  2. jamesjiao

    jamesjiao Senior Member

    New Zealand English and Mandarin Chinese
    I've never heard 'stretch' being used this way, but according to the context, I'd guess it means 'giving yourself more responsibilities than you can handle'...
     
  3. jess oh seven

    jess oh seven Senior Member

    Scotland
    UK/US, English
    It's a sarcastic comment, implying that she is not fit to be the teacher :)
     
  4. Trinibeens

    Trinibeens Senior Member

    NYC
    U.S. English
    I believe it originates from 'a stretch of the imagination'.

    In it's shortened version, "that's a stretch" is used sarcastically to indicate that what the speaker is being asked to imagine, or consider, they feel is impossible.
     
  5. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Let's pretend begins an exercise of imagination.
    Dennis is suggesting that the suggested "let's pretend I'm the teacher" is, as Trinibeens said, a stretch of the imagination - implication as suggested.
    The difference between Dennis the Menace (US) and Dennis the Menace (UK) is remarkable.
     
  6. Arrius

    Arrius Senior Member

    Spain
    English, UK
    Indeed, panj, I sincerely thought that I was reading Charlie Brown on hly2004's first link, especially with the Halloween fixation shared with C.B. But, from long and painful personal experience, I think it is quite reasonable to portray English boys as more obviously 'orrible than their American peers.
     
  7. hly2004 Senior Member

    chinese
    I've got it, Thank you, Jamesjiao,Jess oh seven,Trinibeens,Panjandrum,Arrius.
    :)
     
  8. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    New York
    USA - English
    The expression means "that's a stretch of the imagination." Dennis is being sarcastic, because it is very EASY to imagine Margaret as the teacher, and it requires NO stretch of the imagination at all.
     
  9. hly2004 Senior Member

    chinese
    Hi:
    I had thought it was difficult to imagine. But I can understand your point.:confused:

    It's late here. See you tomorrow.
     
  10. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    New York
    USA - English
    If you read the strip regularly, you will see that Margaret's interests and personality (bookish, a little prim, well-behaved, and somewhat bossy and authoritarian) make it very easy to picture her as a schoolteacher. Dennis, who has an opposite personality, would be diifficult to imagine playing a game where he was the teacher and the other children were students, but the role of teacher is a perfect match for Margaret. For this reason, Dennis makes the tongue-in-cheek comment "that's a stretch" when Margaret suggests the role of teacher for herself. It would be as if someone who loved gambling told you that he was going to Las Vegas for his vacation, and you replied "I never would have guessed", or if a woman who loved to shop for shoes started to tell a story about her latest purchases, and when she began by saying "I was in a shoe store today" you repled "What a surprise!"
     
  11. hly2004 Senior Member

    chinese
    Now,I understand it fully. Thank you, GreenWhiteBlue
    :)
     
  12. mally pense

    mally pense Senior Member

    Cheshire, England
    England, UK English
    I've nothing to add to the main point, but incidentally would like to point out that the precise expression is "a stretch of the imagination" as has been universally adopted in the subsequent replies.
     
  13. hly2004 Senior Member

    chinese
    Thank you for correcting me, Mally pense
    :)
     

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