[Ads-l] unpick?

Jonathan Lighter wuxxmupp2000 at GMAIL.COM
Thu Aug 30 18:22:40 EDT 2018


I've been noticing "unpick" on U.S. TV for a year or two. So much snazzier
than "figure out."

JL

On Thu, Aug 30, 2018 at 3:59 PM Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at yale.edu>
wrote:

> Interesting.  “Unpick” has a long history, I suspect most of it spent in
> the U.K., with the meaning of ‘pick apart’, either literally or
> figuratively.  Here’s the OED:
>
>
> a. To undo the sewing, weaving, etc., of (a garment or other stitched or
> woven item); to take out (a stitch or thread). Also in figurative context.
> Also intr.
>
> With cites from
> 1775   J. Ash New Dict. Eng. Lang.   Unpick, to undo the seams or
> stitching of any thing.
> to
> 1985   G. Greene Tenth Man xi. 23/1 in Mail on Sunday 3 Mar.   His
> lawyer's mind began to unpick the threads of the case.
>
>
> and more recently
>
> b. fig. To undo or take apart (esp. something complex or intricate); to
> carefully analyse the different elements of (something complex or
> intricate), esp. in order to find faults.
> With cites from
> 1948   Times 21 Apr. 2/2   It might not be possible to unpick everything
> the Socialists had done, and they would have to consider very carefully
> what must be unpicked, what must be rearranged, and what they could do.To
> 1984   Guardian Weekly (Nexis) 8 July 5   The whole, painfully-constructed
> deal will almost certainly have to be unpicked, or at least renegotiated.
> 2013   J. Bannister Deadly Virtues xxxi. 290   In order to unpick your
> story you have to give him a story to unpick.
>
> (Not clear to me why the Greene quote wouldn’t have fit into b as easily
> as a, or whether a and b are really all that distinct)
>
> In the cannabis case, it’s more the sorting out and analysis of something
> complex than it is the finding fault, but it’s not surprising to me that
> the story is from London and not New York or Houston.
>
> LH
>
> > On Aug 30, 2018, at 3:38 PM, James A. Landau <JJJRLandau at NETSCAPE.COM>
> wrote:
> >
> > https://isp.netscape.com/tech/story/0002/20180830/KCN1LE1W9_3
> >
> > Scientists unpick how cannabis component may fight psychosis
> >
> > - Jim Landau
> >
> > _____________________________________________________________
> > Netscape.  Just the Net You Need.
> >
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>


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