Crack the door

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Sun Aug 23 18:16:49 UTC 2009

At 9:35 AM -0400 8/23/09, Joel S. Berson wrote:
>At 8/23/2009 12:49 AM, nwhitman at wrote:
>>At night, my wife will ask me to "crack the door" before we watch
>>TV, so it won't keep the kids awake. I think, "what, *open* the
>>door!? That doesn't make sense!" Then I notice the door's already
>>wide open, and I realize she doesn't mean take it from closed to
>>slightly open, but from wide open to slightly open.
>>I can't get that meaning any more than I can say I've cracked a
>>plate when I've glued together the pieces of a broken plate. Can any
>>of you? For doors and windows, or just one or the other?
>Normally I would understand "crack the door/window" to mean "open it
>just a bit", but if I looked at or went to the door/window and found
>it widely open I would understand to close it to the desired position.
And you can only imagine what would happen if Amelia Bedelia were
asked to "crack the window"...


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