rip out the tiles

Sunny_Sue

New Member
Chinese-Madarin
Hi everybody!

I'm new here. I'm not a native English speaker and I'm now reading The Economics trying to improve my English.

Here is the sentence that I can't get the meaning (especially the "rip out the tiles" part; is it an idiom or a metaphor?):

One footnote read, “It was suggested that the author not rip out the tiles for the purpose of performing this experiment.”


The sentence can be found in the 3rd paragraph in this article: http://www.economist.com/news/obitu...tennis-died-august-11th-aged-83-science-swing

Thank in advance for your help!
 
  • Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Hello, Sunny_Sue.

    We need some more information to answer your question, and it should be in the post itself.
    In this case, the article tells us that this is a scientist was studying how the swing of a tennis racket determines the way the ball travels. The sentence before this tells us that he was experimenting with this in his office.

    True, his kudos took a bit of a dive between working on the Large Electron-Positron collider and pitching balls at a racket hung on a string, or dropping them from a stepladder, in a Heath Robinson way. (One footnote read, “It was suggested that the author not rip out the tiles for the purpose of performing this experiment.”)​

    There is no metaphoric meaning. Apparently, his office floor is covered in tiles, and there would have been an advantage in ripping them up and using a different kind of flooring.
     

    Sunny_Sue

    New Member
    Chinese-Madarin
    Hello, Sunny_Sue.

    We need some more information to answer your question, and it should be in the post itself.
    In this case, the article tells us that this is a scientist was studying how the swing of a tennis racket determines the way the ball travels. The sentence before this tells us that he was experimenting with this in his office.

    True, his kudos took a bit of a dive between working on the Large Electron-Positron collider and pitching balls at a racket hung on a string, or dropping them from a stepladder, in a Heath Robinson way. (One footnote read, “It was suggested that the author not rip out the tiles for the purpose of performing this experiment.”)​

    There is no metaphoric meaning. Apparently, his office floor is covered in tiles, and there would have been an advantage in ripping them up and using a different kind of flooring.
    Thank you so much for your time and explanation! And I'll heed your suggestion in my posts afterwards.

    Additionally, I have two more questions here.
    1. The sentences goes as "It was suggested that the author not rip out the tiles..."; in my understanding, it favors an experimental condition WITH tiles. Do I misunderstand it?

    2. Why did the author mention the tiles? It seems abrupt to me, and I don't know what the author tried to imply by mentioning the tiles (and that's why I thought it might have a metaphoric meaning...)

    Looking forward to your reply!
     

    Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    As I understand it, author of the paper (and the footnote) was scientist who was conducting the experiment with the tennis balls. Someone else wrote The Economist article about the scientist and the paper he wrote reporting on his tennis ball experiments.

    The experiment with tennis balls is already humorous, because hitting tennis balls is a funny thing to do in an office. The footnote is from the scientist's paper; he is the author who wanted to rip out the tiles but someone wouldn't let him -- probably the people who owned the office. "It was suggested that" is a formal or academic way of describing what happened.

    The writer for The Economist included the footnote because it is amusing. He put it in brackets, because it doesn't really go with the rest of what he is writing about.
     
    Last edited:

    Sunny_Sue

    New Member
    Chinese-Madarin
    As I understand it, author of the paper (and the footnote) was scientist who was conducting the experiment with the tennis balls. Someone else wrote The Economist article about the scientist and the paper he wrote reporting on his tennis ball experiments.

    The experiment with tennis balls is already humorous, because hitting tennis balls is a funny thing to do in an office. The footnote is from the scientist's paper; he is the author who wanted to rip out the tiles but someone wouldn't let him -- probably the people who owned the office. "It was suggested that" is a formal or academic way of describing what happened.

    The writer for The Economist included the footnote because it is amusing. He put it in brackets, because it doesn't really go with the rest of what he is writing about.
    Thank you very much Cagey!

    I can fully understand it now : )
     
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