down the tub

VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
A man is considered to have committed suicide in a bathtub, slashing his wrists. When Scully reads the autopsy record, she reads aloud "Cause of death... arterial hemorrhage...", a medical examiner comments on it:
— Four out of six liters of blood down the tub.
The X-Files, TV series

Does she actually mean "down the drain"? Because "down the tub" does not imply that the blood flowed away. It just says that the blood was still in the bath. On the bottom of it.
Thank you.
 
  • Juhasz

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    I think you're right. She meant "down the drain." The phrase, "down the tub" doesn't mean anything to me.
     

    SwissPete

    Senior Member
    Français (CH), AE (California)
    Source.
    down the tube/tubes
    1. (informal) if something goes down the tubes, it fails or disappears Our holiday plans went down the tube because of the train strike.
    2. (American informal) if someone goes down the tubes, they fail He's in danger of going down the tubes if he doesn't learn to get on with people at work.
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Then why did you try to tell me it meant "across"? Do you think "he poured it down the drain" means "he poured it across the drain"? :confused:
    No. Not across. Along!:) That's what I said.
    "Down" is a preposition which has the same meaning as "down the road", at least -- that's the only meaning that fits here I've found.
     

    Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    Everything you've said is accurate, but it still doesn't change for a minute the fact that you can pour things down a sink.

    If you'd like to see things from the point of view of the rest of us for a minute, how would you respond to someone who told you, "No, a drain is a kind of opening that connects a sink to a pipe. So, really, you pour things through a drain. Maybe people do say 'down a drain' in uneducated and colloquial speech, but that's technically wrong, and what they are actually trying to say is 'through a drain.' " ?
     

    Myridon

    Senior Member
    English - US
    I think "pouring liquid down the sink" contains two ideas -- pouring it into the sink, and the liquid going down the drain.

    Because, technically, that's the only way the preposition "down" works.:confused:
    Native speakers do not speak "technically." We speak idiomatically and it is idiomatic to say "pour it down the sink" even if you pour it directly into the drain hole.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    I don't. As I said above:

    It's just I always check with dictionaries.:D
    The WRF definition of down as a preposition seems reasonably clear:D
    • used to indicate movement from a higher to a lower position: they went down the mountain
    • at a lower or further level or position on, in, or along: he ran down the street
    Liquids usually flow down - downhill, down the tube , down the drain, pour it down the sink. "Down the tub" is unusual only because not many people dispose of things in a tub compared to the number who pour things down the sink. Unusual doens't mean incorrect, informal or even colloquial.


     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    Liquids usually flow down - downhill, down the tube , down the drain, pour it down the sink.
    I think it's the verb that makes the difference:
    flow down - downhill, down the tube , down the drain
    is different from
    pour it down the sink

    In the first case it flows itself all the way down the whatever.

    In the latter, the act of pouring finishes at the drain hole, and the act of flowing down the pipe starts:confused: That is -- liquid can't "flow down the sink".
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    I think it's the verb that makes the difference:
    flow down - downhill, down the tube , down the drain
    is different from
    pour it down the sink

    In the first case it flows itself all the way down the whatever.

    In the latter, the act of pouring finishes at the drain hole, and the act of flowing down the pipe starts:confused: That is -- liquid can't "flow down the sink".
    If you hold the bottle and pour it into the sink the liquid will flow from a higher position (the mouth of the bottle) to a lower position (into the sink and then on its way) - that is the meaning of down used in the dictionary definition. But hey, I'm only a native speaker:(:(:(
     
    The WRF definition of down as a preposition seems reasonably clear:D
    Liquids usually flow down - downhill, down the tube , down the drain, pour it down the sink. "Down the tub" is unusual only because not many people dispose of things in a tub :thumbsup: compared to the number who pour things down the sink. :thumbsup: Unusual doens't mean incorrect, informal or even colloquial. :thumbsup:

    (Also, let's not forget that tubs and sinks are hollow concave objects of varying degrees whose interior sides slope inwardly down(wards.)

     

    srk

    Senior Member
    English - US
    SwissPete said:
    down the tube
    Our holiday plans went down the tube because of the train strike.
    Sorry, what did you mean by that...?
    I agree with others who say that "down the tub" is odd, but I can imagine a smirk on Mulder's face when he says it. They've been talking about a tub, and Mulder might find it funny to substitute "tub" for "tube." It sounds like X-Files humor to me.
     
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