in the cosmic scheme of things/ universe

redgiant

Senior Member
Cantonese, Hong Kong
Astronomers have detected an alien planet that may be capable of supporting life as we know it — and it's just a stone's throw from Earth in the cosmic scheme of things.

HD 40307g: Alien 'Super-Earth' Planet May Be Habitable, Astronomers Say
Hi, is "in the universe" equivalent to "in the cosmic scheme of things"? Do they basically mean the same thing, except that "in the universe" is a bit dry in style and doesn't match the dramatic tone "just a stone's throw" sets up?
 
  • natkretep

    Moderato con anima (English Only)
    English (Singapore/UK), basic Chinese
    Yes, it's an adaptation of the phrase in the grand scheme of things

    in the grand/great scheme of thingsif you say that in the grand scheme of things something is not important, you mean that it is not important when compared to much more serious things In the grand scheme of things, whether another actress has her navel pierced is not really that significant.
    Cambridge Idioms Dictionary, 2nd ed. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2006. Reproduced with permission.
    and it's the adaptation that makes it interesting. The distance is small if we think in cosmic terms.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    Actually, the original use in an actual cosmic context is effectively a kind of pun - it's normally used about everyday matters. You might worry a lot about where you put your keys or whether to get that navel pierced, but in the cosmic scheme of things they aren't important: worlds and destinies and history aren't affected by them, and millions of years from now no-one will care.
     

    redgiant

    Senior Member
    Cantonese, Hong Kong
    Thanks entngledbank. the expression will come in handy for emphasis when I try to knock some sense into a delusional person.
     

    redgiant

    Senior Member
    Cantonese, Hong Kong

    A guy was scammed out of a large sum of money by a con artist. His wife ran off with the artist and left him with the children. He went to the rooftop of his apartment, debating whether to commit suicide or not. When he made up his mind and lifted one foot off the edge, in a cosmic twist of fate a lottery ticket hit him in the face. He checked the number and found that he won $1 million, which was much more than he had been cheated out of.


    Hi native speakers,

    Does "In a cosmic twist of fate" sound fine to you? I wonder if it could be used to mean "in an extremely unexpected way".
     
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