Akane's cooking has killed lesser men

MidnightCharm

Senior Member
Spanish - Spain
Hi, everybody!

I was reading a comic book called Ranma 1/2 and I found something that I don't quite understand... There's a girl called Akane who just baked some cookies. A boy named Kuno wants to try them. Before he does, another boy warns him about Akane's cooking, like this: I wouldn't do that if I were you, Kuno. Akane's cooking has killed lesser men. He's obviously just joking, but if it the girl's cooking has killed lesser men, why is it a way to warn Kuno? Doesn't that imply that Kuno is stronger and may survive the girl's cooking? Wouldn't Akane's cooking has killed stronger/better men make more sense?
 
  • Enquiring Mind

    Senior Member
    English - the Queen's
    Good question, MC. This "lesser men" turn of phrase turns up quite a lot, and I have to say I've never questioned it, though I cannot fault your logic! I think the stress here is on the word "killed" rather than "lesser". The speaker acknowledges that Kuno is stronger than some others whom Akane's cooking has killed. That therefore means that if Kuno eats the cookies, although he is stronger than the others who have been killed, he may survive, but on the other hand he may not. No-one can know exactly how strong he needs to be to survive her cooking, so it's still a gamble. Is he a gambling man? Does he want to risk it?
     

    dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    Midnightcharm, you are over-analyzing it. It is simply a joke. He is NOT making specific comments about who the cooking would kill and who it wouldn't.

    He didn't invent the line, or plan it. He says "lesser men" because that is part of the joke, that somebody told 50 or 60 years ago, and we have been repeating ever since then. I sounds funny this way.

    cross-posted
     
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