Within coughing distance of

nagariya

Senior Member
hindi
Source: Of umbrage and exception

Please explain to me what the underlined parts mean

Clearly, in the post-Greenspan age, a central banker does not have the defences available to the brainy professor to blink his way out of misconstrued, if not misconstructed, sentences. In fact, no one within coughing distance of a political stage does. <--->

Please explain to me what

<--->


b) no one within coughing distance of political stage means

<--->


This is an excerpt from an article so please help me understand it.

Thank you.
 
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  • Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    It is not a standard phrasing. I would understand it to mean either the distance from which you could be affected by a cough (germs) or the distance from which you could hear a cough. In any case it would be fairly close.

    You frequently hear random coughs from audiences, and if I were to guess it is the sound that was being referred to.
     

    exgerman

    Senior Member
    NYC
    English but my first language was German
    Expanding on Packard: the standard expression is within spitting distance --- close enough to get hit when someone spits.

    The author probably thought that expression too bizarre to use in this context, and changed it to coughing distance.
     

    Packard

    Senior Member
    USA, English
    Expanding on Packard: the standard expression is within spitting distance --- close enough to get hit when someone spits.

    The author probably thought that expression too bizarre to use in this context, and changed it to coughing distance.
    That makes a lot of sense. I'm a little surprised that I didn't see that too.
     
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