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If all of the moons align ...

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Honza, Apr 22, 2006.

  1. Honza

    Honza Senior Member

    Olomouc, Czech Republic
    Czech / Czech Republic
    Hello, I wonder what the idiom if all of the moons align ... could mean. I found it in the following sentence:

    If all of the moons align, a great toolkit can give the vendor near-total control of the standards around an entire category of content.

    Do you know it? What does it mean? Thanks
     
  2. asearchforreason Junior Member

    Illinois
    English (USA)
    It usually means something like "if everything falls into place", "if everything works out right"... is that clear?
     
  3. Honza

    Honza Senior Member

    Olomouc, Czech Republic
    Czech / Czech Republic
    This astrological / astronomical metaphor is absolutely clear now! Thank you.
     
  4. ireney

    ireney Modistra

    U.S.A.
    Greek Greece
    It also has the meaning of rarity usually as in "if everything falls into place -which is very rare- ...... "
     
  5. bhollowp New Member

    English - USA
    I would agree with ireney - It is important to remember that this phrase is almost only used when there is doubt involved.
     
  6. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Sorry to be boring, but all what moons?
    Google has:
    about 71 for "all the moons align
    about 510 for "all the planets align
    ... which makes a great deal more sense.

    Of course it is easier to say the moons version, and since the phrase is being used without any astronomical meaning anyway, why not go for what sounds nicest and to hell with the science.

    As for meaning?
    Whether we are talking about moons or planets, their alignment is extremely rare (planetary alignment last in 2000, next in 2040). So unless science is being completely ignored, it means that there may be some miraculous circumstances in which a great toolkit can give the vendor near-total control of the standards around an entire category of content.
    But don't hold your breath, it isn't going to happen.

    CAUTION: As I have never used this expression, nor heard it used, my post is based on logic not experience.
     
  7. maxiogee Senior Member

    imithe
    We must remember that some planets have multiple moons.
    Let's not be earth-centric!
    "If all the moons align"
    Does this mean that all the *ssh*l*s who believe in astrology are lined up in a row?
    ;)
     
  8. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    Oh, I absolutely agree - I mean, the concept is nonsense in an earth-centric context, the earth only having one moon. But I was assuming that having the moons of the solar system in alignment required first that the planets be in alignment. Then there would be a very small proportion of such alignments in which the moons, all of them, were in alignment.

    We need also to avoid accusations of solar-system-centrism.
     
  9. mariposita

    mariposita Senior Member

    madrid
    US, English
    For me the expressions are:

    If all of the planets align... or
    If all of the stars align

    moons align=696 in google
    planets align=59,800 in google
    stars align=154,000

    In any event, the expression means if the timing is right (which seems unlikely and out of one's control).
     
  10. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    I didn't see the point in looking for all the stars align, because that's never, but now you mention it:
    about 681 for "all the stars align

    Well:eek:
     
  11. maxiogee Senior Member

    imithe
    I presume that the twats who are waiting for all these alignments to occur are talking not of "all" the moons/planets/stars but of "all the ones which matter" in their divinations/auguries.
    When we say "If everybody agrees" we don't (usually) mean everybody on earth!

    --edit & off-topic(ish)--

    I was interested to note from the link panjandrum provided that a "star" is a graphic design having five or more points. I'm sure I've seen four-pointed stars in the past, particularly rhomboid shapes on Christmas cards.
     
  12. Amityville

    Amityville Senior Member

    France
    English UK
    Perhaps Honza's toolkit is for fine-tuning one's orrery ?
     
  13. Honza

    Honza Senior Member

    Olomouc, Czech Republic
    Czech / Czech Republic
    No no, Amityville, I don't intend to construct an orrery! :D This is a sentence from a handbook of pedagogy I'm currently translating from English into Czech...
     

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