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  1. #1
    unpakwon is offline Senior Member
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    Default a gorilla in the mist

    Please explain the following in bold more easily.

    The best known of the majority-owned companies is United Airlines, where employees have owned a 55% stake since 1994, obtained in exchange for $4.9 billion in wage and productivity concessions(1). A gorilla in the mist(2) is SAIC of San Diego, which employs close to forty thousand people. Founded in 1969 as a consulting firm with government contracts(3), SAIC pulls in almost half of its $5.5 billion annual revenue today from commercial businesses like health care and energy.

    I don't know what (1) means. And in what situation do you use (2)? Does (3) mean "a consulting firm that made contracts with the government"?

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    TheParser is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: a gorilla in the mist

    Quote Originally Posted by unpakwon View Post
    Please explain the following in bold more easily.

    The best known of the majority-owned companies is United Airlines, where employees have owned a 55% stake since 1994, obtained in exchange for $4.9 billion in wage and productivity concessions(1). A gorilla in the mist(2) is SAIC of San Diego, which employs close to forty thousand people. Founded in 1969 as a consulting firm with government contracts(3), SAIC pulls in almost half of its $5.5 billion annual revenue today from commercial businesses like health care and energy.

    I don't know what (1) means. And in what situation do you use (2)? Does (3) mean "a consulting firm that made contracts with the government"?

    Thank you.

    ***** NOT A TEACHER *****


    Hello, Unpakwon:


    (1) Without knowing anything else besides the paragraph that you have

    given us, I would get this impression:

    SAIC is a big company (gorillas are big) that is not well known

    (it is hidden by the mist, that word meaning something like "fog").

    In other words, American Airlines is well-known, but most people

    are ignorant about SAIC's huge size and huge income because it

    is like a gorilla in the mist (that you cannot see very well).

    (2) I googled after reading your question and found two important

    facts:

    (a) There was a 1988 motion picture called "Gorilllas in the Mist"

    about Ms. Dian Fossey, who spent her life studying gorillas in

    Africa. (or: Dianne)

    (b) I learned something that I had never known (of course, I do

    not know MOST things!!!):

    Some rude people here in the United States have used that term

    to refer to a certain group of people in this country.

    (3) Therefore:

    (a) The newspaper (?) that published that article used that

    term innocently, I'm sure.

    (b) It would probably be a good idea (a VERY good idea) NOT to

    use that term, for you could accidentally offend some people.


    Sincerely,


    James

  3. #3
    Ouisch's Avatar
    Ouisch is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: a gorilla in the mist

    Quote Originally Posted by unpakwon View Post
    Please explain the following in bold more easily.

    The best known of the majority-owned companies is United Airlines, where employees have owned a 55% stake since 1994, obtained in exchange for $4.9 billion in wage and productivity concessions(1).
    This means that as of 1994 the employees of United Airlines owned more than half of the company. Instead of actually using cash to buy that large of a share in the company, the employees agreed to accept a lower rate of salary and would forego certain benefits their union had previously ensured them. (At the time United Airlines was facing bankruptcy and might have gone out of business. Mangement made a deal with the employees - if you agree to these concessions (less money, less benefits, etc) the company can stay in business and you won't lose your jobs. In exchange, the employees will own 55% of the company and will (as a group) have influence on any future business dealings/decisions.


    A gorilla in the mist(2) is SAIC of San Diego, which employs close to forty thousand people. Founded in 1969 as a consulting firm with government contracts(3), SAIC pulls in almost half of its $5.5 billion annual revenue today from commercial businesses like health care and energy.

    I don't know what (1) means. And in what situation do you use (2)? Does (3) mean "a consulting firm that made contracts with the government"?

    Thank you.
    SAIC is the fourth-largest majority owned (employee owned) company in the US. "Gorilla in the mist" is this case is a metaphor for a large company lurking in the background that tends to go unnoticed. (It's not a common metaphor and probably is just using an opportunity to make reference to the movie title.)

    "Government contracts" does indeed mean that SAIC has contracts with various government agencies (which are usually quite lucrative). The rest of their revenue comes from the health care industry (hospitals, medical insurance) and energy (electric and gas companies).

  4. #4
    unpakwon is offline Senior Member
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    Default Re: a gorilla in the mist

    It's a great help.

    Thank you all for the kind explanation.

  5. #5
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    Leandro-Z is offline Member
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    Default Re: a gorilla in the mist

    I wouldn't be so sure that the "Gorilla in the mist" term has been used undeliberately. Perhaps it was on purpose. You never know!
    Last edited by Leandro-Z; 19-Jun-2011 at 02:30.

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