the meaning of stack up

  • Franco-filly

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England
    The prior sentence is helpful:

    A man who slept less than seven hours a day had a 25 per cent lower sperm count but a man who overslept (nine hours or more) was down 40 percent in sperm count.
    That makes you wonder how the internet-loving, sleep-loathing Hongkonger will stack up.

    It means "It makes you wonder how his sperm-count will compare to that of men who sleep less than 7 hours a day."
     

    kansi

    Senior Member
    japanese
    sorry I still don't really get it.
    I mean I understand the basic idea here.
    Because of the research, we are able to know how a hongknogner's sperm -count is by comparing it to the sperm count of those who sleep less than 7hours.

    is this what the sentence mean,right?
    I mean how(meanin, in which way?) it will compare to it is like obvious. it's just to compare the hours both of them sleep. sounds like there are maltiple ways to compare but there is basically the one way to compare in this case?

    If it were "how his sperm count will be compared to..", I would easily understand the idea here. But what the sentence means here is different?
     
    Last edited:

    Franco-filly

    Senior Member
    English - Southern England
    I believe it's saying [and I've only read those 1 or 2 sentences so I could be wrong] "If it has been proved that a man who sleeps less than 7 hours has a low sperm count, imagine what that might mean for the sperm count of someone who spends even less time asleep. Is it going to be even lower?"
     

    kansi

    Senior Member
    japanese
    I believe it's saying [and I've only read those 1 or 2 sentences so I could be wrong] "If it has been proved that a man who sleeps less than 7 hours has a low sperm count, imagine what that might mean for the sperm count of someone who spends even less time asleep. Is it going to be even lower?"
    Yup, I understand the same way. But I just don't get how the sentence means so.
    like if I say:
    Do you know how you compare them?
    then, I am asking about ways of comparing them.
    But here with the almost same stracture how A compare to B, a way of comparing them is just obvious,I believe?here, it is asking rather how it is after comparing them right?
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    That makes you wonder how the internet-loving, sleep-loathing Hongkonger will stack up.

    That makes you wonder how the internet-loving, sleep-loathing Hongkonger's sperm count will compare to these other numbers.

    The sentence is saying, "it makes you wonder where on the existing scale they will fall." If we put their number on a graph, will it be higher or lower or in between those other numbers?
     

    kansi

    Senior Member
    japanese
    That makes you wonder how the internet-loving, sleep-loathing Hongkonger will stack up.

    That makes you wonder how the internet-loving, sleep-loathing Hongkonger's sperm count will compare to these other numbers.

    The sentence is saying, "it makes you wonder where on the existing scale they will fall." If we put their number on a graph, will it be higher or lower or in between those other numbers?
    ahhhhhh I maybe understand that. A compares to B means that like how far A would be from B.it's like the position of B has been set on a scale then thinking how we put the postion of A on the scale.
     

    ironman2012

    Senior Member
    Chinese
    That makes you wonder how the internet-loving, sleep-loathing Hongkonger's sperm count will compare to these other numbers.
    1. Does "that makes you wonder how A will compare to B" mean "that makes you wonder compared with B, how is A"?

    Overall, said Marino, "dolphin brains stack up quite well to human brains." (From Science Is a Dolphin a Person? by David Grimm, Greg Miller on Feb. 21, 2010.)
    2. Does the red part mean "compared with human brains, dolphin brains functions quite well?"
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    1. Yes
    2. It means if we assume that human brains are at the top, which we always do, then dolphin brains compare favorably to human brains. They have many of the same or similar qualities/abilities.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I spent the last 15 minutes looking for the etymology of the phrase "stack up" meaning "to compare". It was nowhere to be found (in 15 minutes).

    I do wonder where that phrase came from.

    I did find a meaning for a "stacked deck" meaning that the odds were against someone, as a poker playing origin, but nothing at all on "stack up" meaning "to compare".

    I do wonder where that phrase originated and how.
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    You have a bunch of identical coins. Your friend has a bunch of the same coins. Who has more money? It's easy to find out without counting. Just stack them up. Whoever has the taller stack has the most money.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    You have a bunch of identical coins. Your friend has a bunch of the same coins. Who has more money? It's easy to find out without counting. Just stack them up. Whoever has the taller stack has the most money.
    That makes sense. I could find no reference to that, but gold coins were very valuable and it is a quick way to compare the totals. It still sounds like a gambling origin to me. Where else do people stack up coins (or poker chips).
     

    kansi

    Senior Member
    japanese
    That makes sense. I could find no reference to that, but gold coins were very valuable and it is a quick way to compare the totals. It still sounds like a gambling origin to me. Where else do people stack up coins (or poker chips).
    So since it sounds a gambling origine, are we not supposed to use it in a daily conversation? or we definitely can use it but not that often since we have another often-used option, which is "A compares to B"?
     

    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    No, there's nothing wrong with using phrases with a gambling origin, especially if people don't even know that or think about it.

    Stack up is used frequently. It's another way to express that idea. There are probably others. Compare in that use can sound quite formal. Stack up is more casual.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    I agree with Kentix. The only reasons I seek out the etymologies is that they often give an insight to the meaning, and they assist in helping to remember the meaning.
     

    kansi

    Senior Member
    japanese
    I agree with Kentix. The only reasons I seek out the etymologies is that they often give an insight to the meaning, and they assist in helping to remember the meaning.
    I see. lt's a way to remember the meaning of a word easily. thank you!
     

    kansi

    Senior Member
    japanese
    No, there's nothing wrong with using phrases with a gambling origin, especially if people don't even know that or think about it.

    Stack up is used frequently. It's another way to express that idea. There are probably others. Compare in that use can sound quite formal. Stack up is more casual.
    oh okay. Compare in that use can sound formal. Stack up is rather more for a daily use. I'll keep it in mind.
     

    lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    The OED’s definition is:
    To pile up one's chips at poker. Now usually figurative, to present oneself, measure up; to arise, build up. colloquial (chiefly U.S.).

    The examples include:

    1938 Sun (Baltimore), 6 Apr. 11/5 — I think every one will agree my record stacks up favourably enough with that of any other pro. past or present.
    1951 M. McLuhan, Mech. Bride, 48/1 — See how you stack up with your fellow man on the following issues.
    1965 P.G. Wodehouse, Galahad at Blandings, x. 169 — I've never been a brainy sort of guy, and what I want is a wife with about the same amount of grey matter I have, and that's how Vee stacks up.
     
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