a firefighter dipping into the boot he just shook at you whi

learned

Member
Armenian
This is not clear:
a firefighter dipping into the boot he just shook at you while you waited for the traffic light

In this context:
This, of course, is nothing more than the usual "charitable skim," as I call it — no different from a firefighter dipping into the boot he just shook at you while you waited for the traffic light — but it was found to dismay the gullible, er, I mean, faithful who bought the fair-trade coffee and soothed their overmonied consciences with its fragrant aroma in their kitchens.


Source:
http://mises.org/daily/1548

I understand all the words but what is the meaning of all this structure? The firefighter gets into his boot while I wait for the traffic light?! Does it make any sense to you? To me not. Thanks!
 
  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Hello learned

    The only way I can make sense of this is to interpret it as a reference to:

    - a firefighter waiting at traffic lights and holding out a boot in which he is collecting money from cars which have stopped at the lights
    - the same firefighter taking money out of the boot to use for his own purposes.

    I may have misunderstood completely: I've never seen a firefighter collecting money at traffic lights....
     

    frenchifried

    Senior Member
    English - UK/US
    Oh Loob - I so agree - I never thought I would get to the point of not understanding my own language! But having gone to the link I can see why there is confusion:

    "On my next visit to the supermarket, I gravitated with my typical masochism to the aisle in which fair trade reigns supreme and there, to my irresistible wonderment"

    Do I need to continue? You are probably right about the fire fighters . . .:confused:
     

    Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    Perhaps firefighters in the US frequently collect money for charity by standing at traffic lights holding out boots?

    I think we need comments from AmE-speakers:).
     

    frenchifried

    Senior Member
    English - UK/US
    They do - I've just googled it. In Canada, they hold out their boots for all sorts of charities. So, ASL, in answer to your question, from what I have learned, all the firefighter is doing is shaking his boot, much as anyone else shakes a can/tin for their particular charity.

    I am linguistically exhausted - I propose a universal academy to unify the English language!
     
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