sting has been put into death


Senior Member
Dear all,
this from the sketch 'As the Spirit Moves', by Dorothy Parker.

It is the ouija-board trade in particular that is so trying. Now that every family has installed its own private ouija board and expects immediate service on it at any hour of the day or night, the sting has been put into death.

Could you please comment on the red? I guess its meaning is something like that was the straw that broke the camel's back.
  • Juhasz

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    I agree, it does sound like it could be such an expression. It's not, though.

    Another way of writing the part in red would be: now death really stings (that is, hurts). I suppose the idea is, before spirits were required to work so hard, death wasn't that bad, but now, with the ouija boards and whatnot, it's become painful.


    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    It's a reference to the biblical line 'O Death, where is thy sting?' Whatever this actually meant, it's often popularly used as if death is painless, it has no sting; so the joke is that now it's painful to be dead, because of all this traffic with the living.
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