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  1. #1
    sbchan is offline Junior Member
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    Question Dropping like flies

    What does 'are not dropping like flies' in the following sentence mean? Does it mean "dying"?

    As we grind through the longest recession in 75 years, Americans across the land are not dropping like flies. In fact there's a virtual epidemic of people not dying.

  2. #2
    bhaisahab's Avatar
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    Default Re: Dropping like flies

    Quote Originally Posted by sbchan View Post
    What does 'are not dropping like flies' in the following sentence mean? Does it mean "dying"?

    As we grind through the longest recession in 75 years, Americans across the land are not dropping like flies. In fact there's a virtual epidemic of people not dying.
    Yes, it means dying, especially in large numbers.

  3. #3
    sbchan is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Dropping like flies

    If "dropping like flies" means dying in large number then what is the meaning of 'virtual epidemic' in the sentence following? Does it mean suddenly a large number of people not dying? It's hard to comprehend.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Dropping like flies

    The write is being ironic. Usually an epidemic makes a lot of people sick (and probably some of them die). An epidemic of "not dying" sounds like there has been a sudden and significant reduction in the death rate.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  5. #5
    sbchan is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Dropping like flies

    Barb_D,

    Thank you for your explanation. The sentence was cited from an article about "one-percent-point rise in the unemployement rate reduces the death rate by 0.5%".

    SB

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Dropping like flies

    The same one with the "stiffs"? Sounds like an odd article - but a good one for learning some interesting phrases!
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  7. #7
    sbchan is offline Junior Member
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    Default Re: Dropping like flies

    Yes. Same article with the "stiffs".

    SB

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