Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pushing the envelope

Yesterday, one of my Facebook friends had the following as his status:
doesn't get why 'pushing the envelope' means risk-taking. Envelopes are, like, really easy to push.
That was a very interesting observation! I had no idea what the answer was, and more importantly had never so far bothered to check. A quick google-search provided the answer: The phrase has mathematical roots, and the envelope here is the mathematical envelope.

Wonder how many more phrases and idioms I use regularly, and haven't thought about the origins.

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