E for effort, T for truce

smk

Member
English (U.S.)
Hello all!

What does "E for effort and T for truce" mean? I read this on page 115 from the book "Face of a Killer" by Robin Burcell. Two agents (Carillo and Fitzpatrick) are arguing and in the end Carillo says "E for effort and T for truce" to which Fitzpatrick says "Fine. Truce." (p.115). I'm not sure, but maybe it has something to do with the eagle scouts or the kumbaya, because Carillo has nicknamed Fitzpatrick "Pollyanna". Carillo makes references to the Eagle Scouts and the kumbaya earlier in the book to describe Fitzpatrick.

Thank you in advance!!
 
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  • smokeymcpot1988

    Senior Member
    English (UK)
    Hello smk,

    << answer to other question deleted >>

    For the second question, I am unsure, to me it sounds like maybe they were trying to spell a word and they said the letter and then a word to make sure you have the right letter. For example:

    Person A : "Hello my name's Etiene"
    Person B: "Oh, what a strange name how do you spell it?"
    Person A: "E for effort, T for truce....." etc

    But that is just a guess! I hope that helps!
     
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    Nunty

    Modified
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    Hello all!

    What does "E for effort and T for truce" mean? When does one say that?

    Thank you in advance!!
    Welcome to the forums, smk. :)

    The forum rules require that the person who is asking the question provide full context and background. (Follow the link to see what we mean by that.)

    Please tell us where you heard or read this phrase. It is not a common idiom.

    Everyone else, please stop guessing until we have received the context.
     

    smk

    Member
    English (U.S.)
    Sorry for not being clearer from the get go. I have revised my original post.

    -smk
     

    Nunty

    Modified
    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    What is the sentence just before the "E for effort" one?

    (Please post down here instead of editing the first post because of all the intervening posts. Thanks.)
     

    GreenWhiteBlue

    Senior Member
    USA - English
    "Eagle Scout" is the highest rank of Boy Scouts; the image is of a wholesome, earnest, virtuous person. Pollyanna is the eponymous heroine of a classic children's book; she is thought of as a cheerful, wholesome optimist. "Kumbaya" is a song associated with the idea of well-intentioned but naive people who think that most problems can be solved by holding hands and singing folk hymns. She is displaying her sense of humor by humming the sort of song that Pollyanna would be presumed to love, and which the other person had mentioned as an example of touchy-feely drivel.

    "E for Effort" is related to an award given to factories during the Second World War for outstanding production. (You can read more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Army-Navy_%E2%80%98E%E2%80%99_Award ) While the E apparently stood for "excellence", the phrase "you get an E for effort" became popular, with the meaning (as the original wartime award was forgotten) that even if you did not succeed, you deserve full credit for trying.

    "T for Truce" is not a common expression the way "E for Effort" is, but it seems to be created on the same model: the speaker is saying "I commend your effort, and I offer you a truce in our verbal battle."
     

    losilmer

    Senior Member
    I have read somewhere that once upon a time and when a teacher corrected his pupils' exercises, he could come across a faulty one filled with many mistakes ( and deserving an F ). But seeing the schoolmaster that the concerned pupil had made efforts to improve during the school period, he used to say: "You merit an F, but I will give you an E for your efforts in your studies." I suppose that this was adopted as an award in the WWII production effort, as GreenWhiteBlue says. And that the saying "T for truce" was a carbon copy of "E for effort", as GWB also states.

    In our story Fitzpatrick knows that he is scoffing at his female companion and maybe he regrets it then. For this reason he is asking for peace or even a pardon for his rough observations, but with a wry irony included. Even asking for a respite he is calling her a name or alias. Evidently he is very disrespectful. I see a bit of chauvinist machismo and discrimination against women in Jesus's conduct, which does not agree very well with his first name.

    The meaning of "E for effort, T for truce" in this case would be something like: "I accept that you have some merit, so let's be friends again".
     
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