a bit more my speed

Alaska98

Senior Member
Slovenian
This is from Dave Grohl's book, which I'm translating into Slovene. Here, Grohl is describing his hectic itinerary (traveling from Australia to USA and back within 48 hours). I'm not sure about the last part of the second sentence (a bit more my speed) although I of course understand individual words.

I kept an eye on the time, knowing that there was little margin for error in my diabolical itinerary. Counting down the minutes until I had to say goodbye again, I decided to hit the buffet line for a little Caesar salad, knowing that the food on the flight was probably going to be a bit more my speed.
 
  • grassy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    I guess it wouldn't have occured to me either, had I not had that once-in-a-lifetime moment of enlightenment. :D Still, if there's a better interpretation, I'll happily concede I was wrong. :cool:
    How are you reading it?
    I've asked myself what might the difference between a Caesar salad eaten at what might have been an airport lounge buffet and airplane food. The former seems lighter and better quality. And why would that be important to Grohl? We're told he had a "diabolical itinerary" and some indigestion problems might have interfered with his plans.
     

    Alaska98

    Senior Member
    Slovenian
    Grassy, I will definitely use your suggestion as it is the only plausible one, even if it is down to the momement of englightment :)
     

    jucami

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I'm confused by Grohl's sentence. If I say that something is "my speed," it means that it suits me, it fits my tastes, I like it. Why would he get a salad before his flight if he expects he will like the airplane food? (And who expects they will like airplane food, anyway?? o_O)
     
    I decided to hit the buffet line for a little Caesar salad, knowing that the food on the flight was probably going to be a bit more my speed.

    This is not an ambiguous sentence at all, but it is certainly puzzling.

    As jucami says, "a bit more my speed" gives a single, clear meaning: The airplane food will be a bit more to my liking (or a bit more satisfying) than ... something. We don't know what because we don't know what came before the quoted passage.

    One possible interpretation is that Grohl was at an event where food was served that he, for some reason, thought would be inferior to the airline food. (Maybe he was flying first class! :D) Rather than eat a full meal at the event, he got a bit of salad to tide him over until he got the apparently delicious meal on the airplane.

    This is puzzling for anyone who has eaten airline food, but that's what the sentence says.
     

    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    It means "food that takes too long to digest".
    I've asked myself what might the difference between a Caesar salad eaten at what might have been an airport lounge buffet and airplane food. The former seems lighter and better quality. And why would that be important to Grohl? We're told he had a "diabolical itinerary" and some indigestion problems might have interfered with his plans.
    But he says that the airplane food, not the Caesar salad, would be more his speed.

    @Alaska98, is there anything else in the context that might give us a clue?
     

    cidertree

    Senior Member
    Béarla na hÉireann (Hiberno-English)
    One possible interpretation is that Grohl was at an event where food was served that he, for some reason, thought would be inferior to the airline food. (Maybe he was flying first class! :D) Rather than eat a full meal at the event, he got a bit of salad to tide him over until he got the apparently delicious meal on the airplane.
    Yes, I think so - The key seems to be in the "a little Caesar salad".
     

    Alaska98

    Senior Member
    Slovenian
    First of all, thanks to everybody; it's very interesting how this thread has developed. The clue might lie a bit further up in the book, which says:
    As we entered the main room, we were met with the standard affair of balloons, tables neatly set with beautiful dishes, a grand buffet of plain pasta and chicken nuggets, and a dance floor full of screaming children.

    Now, following this interesting discussion, my understanding now is that instead of a full meal (pasta, nuggets...) he opted just for some Caesars salad, waiting for the food on the flight to be more to his liking than the pasta and chicken nuggets. This sentence was too far away for me to make the connection.

    Thanks a lot, everyone, for discussing it even after the problem seems to have been solved.
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US

    Le Gallois bilingue

    Senior Member
    English (U.K.)
    My interpretation is that Grohl has been describing his hectic itinerary, yet he decided to have a Caesar salad at a reduced pace knowing that airline meals are a rushed affair.
     

    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    Apparently the expression “my speed” is unfamiliar to British English speakers! I’ve learned something.
     

    elroy

    Moderator: EHL, Arabic, Hebrew, German(-Spanish)
    US English, Palestinian Arabic bilingual
    I think it comes from the idea of something not being too challenging for someone, where their brain may not be able to function at the right speed.

    You want him to play chess? He’s only six! Snakes and Ladders might be more his speed.

    From there, the use was generalized to mean “suitable for one,” “to one’s liking,” “up one’s alley,” etc.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Yes, it's a general expression meaning "more suitable to/for" me and doesn't necessarily relate to movement or actual speed, although it could.

    As we entered the main room, we were met with the standard affair of balloons, tables neatly set with beautiful dishes, a grand buffet of plain pasta and chicken nuggets, and a dance floor full of screaming children.

    To me it seems very likely that he's describing a children's party of some kind that's stocked with foods that children like - so plain pasta (without that icky sauce) and lots of chicken nuggets (the food equivalent of crack cocaine for younger American children). It's no surprise it's not his cup of tea* as an adult. So instead of filling his stomach with that food ahead of the long journey, he'll hold off until he gets to the plane, where he'll be served a meal intended for an adult - maybe with wine. ;)

    Like others, I'm also guessing he's flying first class and with such a long flight they probably have plenty of time to serve a very nice meal. What else is there to do and the ticket price likely more than covers it.

    * the same idea, even with no tea in sight :)
     
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