surgical bullet

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Acca_m

New Member
russian
Hi!
Please, help! :confused:
I'm translating BBC series "Twenty Twelve", and some person in it says this line "Suddenly everybody’s talking
about traffic light phasing like it’s some kind of sliced bread, ok, it’s not a surgical bullet". I know it means to be funny, but what does it mean, and why is it funny? ))
 
  • Acca_m

    New Member
    russian
    They are talking about traffic, which they consider a would-be problem in organizing the Olympics.
    But it's a comic series ) and this means to be a sharp phrase.
     

    entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    It's probably what's more commonly called a 'magic bullet', a precisely targeted solution to a medical problem, one which has no unwanted side effects. They're more often drugs than surgical techniques, but 'surgical' also has the connotation "very precise" (a 'surgical strike' in warfare kills, say, Bin Laden and no-one else), so 'surgical bullet' suggests to me that it's a wonderful solution that nicely fixes the problem.
     

    Acca_m

    New Member
    russian
    It's probably what's more commonly called a 'magic bullet', a precisely targeted solution to a medical problem, one which has no unwanted side effects. They're more often drugs than surgical techniques, but 'surgical' also has the connotation "very precise" (a 'surgical strike' in warfare kills, say, Bin Laden and no-one else), so 'surgical bullet' suggests to me that it's a wonderful solution that nicely fixes the problem.
    Thank you very much!
     

    suzi br

    Senior Member
    English / England
    Sliced bread refers to the expression we have to suggest something is very good ... it is the best thing since sliced bread.
     

    Biffo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    "Suddenly everybody’s talking about traffic light phasing like it’s some kind of sliced bread, ok, it’s not a surgical bullet"


    The character who said this is 'funny' because he/she is misquoting a number of common expressions.

    There is no such thing as a "surgical bullet" - in fact it makes no sense. The expression is a nonsensical mixture of "surgical strike" and "magic bullet" as others have mentioned.

    "like it’s some kind of sliced bread" is a mangled version of the common expression "it's the best thing since sliced bread".

     
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