Grit in the oyster

Discussion in 'English Only' started by sorcererbg, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. sorcererbg New Member

    I think it's about smth that is very hard to get but is essential.

    But I would like to know more about the meaning of this phrase.

    Thank you very much in advance!
  2. Andygc

    Andygc Senior Member

    British English
    sorcererbg, Please could you give us some context. If you have seen this phrase, presumably you have the rest of the sentence to go with it?
  3. sorcererbg New Member

    Well, I would have to copy the whole paragraph and I am not allowed to do that (copyright). The author is talking about markets and that perfect information (that is, assuming that all agents are rational and have perfect information, they will choose the best products, and the market will reward those who make the best products with higher sales.) about them would be the grit in the market oyster.

    That's why I was hoping for native speaker that would have heard that phrase. Otherwise in context I might be able to guess what it means myself. I have the feeling it's smth like "the pearl in the crown" as we say in Bulgarian.
  4. MilkyBarKid Senior Member

    British English
    A piece of grit, or grain of sand, gets inside the shells of an oyster. To reduce the irritation, the oyster secretes a liquid, which solidifies around the irritating intrusion; and over time, this forms a pearl.

    So - what is originally an irritation, turns out to produce a thing of value and beauty.
    The grit/sand might be something like: "All that damn ice on my windscreen when I need to drive to work each morning." That irritation leads to someone developing a pressure-can of de-icer.

    So far so good.

    But how does 'perfect information' (apparently referring to agents in the market place) "and (information) about them would be the grit in the market oyster" relate to that?

    I'm confused.:confused::confused:

    You will need to PM someone the copyright information, so they can divine the real meaning.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2010
  5. Andygc

    Andygc Senior Member

    British English
    Yes, very strange. Your explanation of the context does not fit the normal meaning of the metaphor. We really do need the actual sentence it appears in, or if the text is available on the internet, the web address. As a new member you may not be able to insert a link, but you could give us the address.

    Sorry, I should also have said welcome to the forum :) and pointed out that, by the way, we do not use abbreviations like smth which are not standard English.
  6. Rana_pipiens

    Rana_pipiens Senior Member

    Salt Lake City, Utah
    USA / English
    Perfect information would not normally be regarded as an irritation, so the metaphor doesn't seem appropriate.

    Doesn't international copyright law say it's okay to quote from a copyrighted work, particularly for scholarly purposes (which this forum surely is)?
  7. Nunty

    Nunty Modified

    Hebrew-US English (bilingual)
    Moderator's note:

    WordReference Forums has a four sentence limit on quoted material. Among other reasons, this is to help guard against copyright infringement. You are allowed to quote up to four sentences of material and are encouraged to explain the rest of the context in your own words, as well as citing the attribution (with a link, if possible).

    Any further discussion of this should be in the Comments & Suggestions forum, where there are already some threads on the topic. Please keep this thread to the question that was asked in post #1.

    Thank you.


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