After all mine isn't made of rubber

VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
'Comrade passengers,' the driver began again, 'another bus is coming in a minute! After all mine isn't made of rubber, you'll bust it!' His voice grew plaintive.
This phrase is an example (from a dictionary) of how to use the expression 'you'll bust it!'.
I'd like to ask, does the 'mine' mean 'my bus' here ?

Thank you.
 
  • VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Thanks!

    This is a Russian-English dictionary of idioms. In the original that is:
    Rush hour. Short story. (ЧАС ПИК. Рассказ). Translated by Valentina Jacque. Journal “Soviet Literature”, 3, 1984
    :)
     

    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Given the context of 'rush hour' I think that it simply means:

    Please don't all try to get on at once! Another bus is coming in a minute. My bus won't stretch to fit you all - you'll break it!

    So to return to your original question - 'mine' refers to 'my bus'.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    I don't know, Biffo, I don't think that he is saying "my bus" to contrast with the bus that is coming along in a minute. Because none of buses are made of rubber, I'd say...:)
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    I don't know, Biffo, I don't think that he is saying "my bus" to contrast with the bus that is coming along in a minute. Because none of buses are made of rubber, I'd say...:)
    I think Biffo is correct. Of course no bus is made of rubber - it is a figurative use of the word relying on its association of being able to get bigger by stretching. If my bus could get bigger, it could take more passengers. But it can't, so wait for the next one.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    If my bus could get bigger, it could take more passengers. But it can't, so wait for the next one.
    Of course. But when the next bus arrives, there will be few passengers that want get in. So, this next bus can easily accommodate all passengers that failed to get in the previous bus. And there will not be any need for this bus to be made of rubber.
     

    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    Of course. But when the next bus arrives, there will be few passengers that want get in. So, this next bus can easily accommodate all passengers that failed to get in the previous bus. And there will not be any need for this bus to be made of rubber.
    I think you are straying away from your original question. Is your purpose to expose a weakness in Valentina Jacque's translation? I agree that there is a problem of logic. I also agree that changing the phrase to "After all it isn't made of rubber..." removes that problem. However it creates another one. Grammatically it now appears that "it" refers to the other bus.

    Perhaps a complete rewrite would be necessary to resolve these questions.

    Is that what you wish to hear? :)
     
    Last edited:

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Of course. But when the next bus arrives, there will be few passengers that want get in. So, this next bus can easily accommodate all passengers that failed to get in the previous bus. And there will not be any need for this bus to be made of rubber.
    But if the passengers thought there was not another bus coming, they would try to get on the first one ("mine") and they would "bust it". The driver is saying that if it were made of rubber, it could get bigger and accommodate everyone.

    The bus being referred to as "mine" is the first bus, the one being driven by the speaker - your original question is answered, is it not?
     

    Copyright

    Senior Member
    American English
    He's not saying "After all, MY bus isn't made of rubber" in the sense that other buses are. He's saying "After all, my bus isn't made of rubber" in the sense that "My dog isn't housebroken" without any reference to other dogs in the world.

    It's not much different than:
    Please wait. My bus is full. (The speaker has no idea if other buses have seats for the people he's talking to, although they might. He just knows that his bus doesn't have room for any more passengers.)

    Added: Cross-posted with JulianStuart.
     

    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    ...The bus being referred to as "mine" is the first bus, the one being driven by the speaker - your original question is answered, is it not?
    There lies the problem. The first bus mentioned is 'another bus'. We have to guess that 'the driver' has a bus. Clearly context dictates this but grammar doesn't.

    I sympathise with VikNikSor but I don't think we can write a better translation without knowing the original. (even if it was allowed on this forum)

    (cross-posted with Copyright)
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    There lies the problem. The first bus mentioned is 'another bus'. We have to guess that 'the driver' has a bus. Clearly context dictates this but grammar doesn't.

    I sympathise with VikNikSor but I don't think we can write a better translation without knowing the original. (even if it was allowed on this forum)

    (cross-posted with Copyright)
    Really! I suppose it's possible that (instead of the driver talking to the passengers already on, and those trying to board, his bus) he and all the passengers are standing around the bus station without the driver having a bus for them to get onto, but do we even know he's human, without guessing that too?? :eek: ? Why can we assume it is not a communications bus within a computer - we are only "guessing" it is a bus a human can drive. But we don't actually know he's human - we only guessed. I think I'm confused now.

    (In other words, grammar alone is basically a meaningless concept if context is neither specified nor guessable. Speakers need to learn both grammar and use their experience to assess the likely (or only possible reasonable) context.)
     
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