... went right off the top of the scale. Buried the needle.

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VicNicSor

Banned
Russian
Going on talking about this accident: from 20 feet away

-- Spengler went down there. He took PKE valences, went right off the top of the scale. Buried the needle. We're close on this one. I can feel it.
Ghostbusters, movie

I think the first phrase means -- there's a scale which measures these "PKE valences", and those at the library exceed the top figure. Is it correct? If so, could you tell me please what "buried the neddle" means. Thanks.
 
  • VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    I think the idea is that the needle on the measuring device went so high that it disappeared. It was "off the scale."
    So would you say there is no special idiom or expression here, and the meaning of "bury" is maybe this one?
    to hide (something) so that it cannot be seen or is difficult to see
    He has learned to bury his feelings.
    She buried her face in her hands.
     
    I think it's more a personification of the needle by the author. The needle "died':) -- was destroyed by going off the scale and needed a burial.:D

    I agree with The Newt that this is not a standard expression.

    (Similar perhaps to one sports team saying about a beaten opposing team, "We murdered them." "We buried them.")
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    There is a discussion of a needle being "pegged" - meaning either set at a particular value or hitting the peg at the (top) end of the scale. Perhaps this ambiguity caused the writers to create a new "totally maxed out" expression meaning: not only had the needle exceeded its maximum on the scale, it had gone even further (possibly breaking the peg) and buried itself in the material the gauge was fabricated from :D
     

    VicNicSor

    Banned
    Russian
    There is a discussion of a needle being "pegged" - meaning either set at a particular value or hitting the peg at the (top) end of the scale. Perhaps this ambiguity caused the writers to create a new "totally maxed out" expression meaning: not only had the needle exceeded its maximum on the scale, it had gone even further (possibly breaking the peg) and buried itself in the material the gauge was fabricated from :D
    Thank you:)
     

    codger

    New Member
    English - American
    I think the idea is that the needle on the measuring device went so high that it disappeared. It was "off the scale."
    "That's off the scale!" means that behavior is "beyond the pale," in a bad sense, or very good. "Your reading ability is off the scale" means that you read better than just about anyone else. But "the Democratic Party has shifted to the right since 1970, and the Republicans are simply off the scale," means that the Republican Party has gone crazy. In German, I think one would say "sie spinnen."
     
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