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  1. #1
    suprunp's Avatar
    suprunp is offline Senior Member
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    chop the air trying to chip a golf ball

    The utility guy chopped the air on top of his desk like he was trying to chip a golf ball. "I'm just—honestly, Mr. Lewicki, I don't get it. You acknowledged receipt of the delinquency notice on your phone. Why didn't you catch that shuttle yesterday? Was there a problem with the ticket?"
    (Benjamin Crowell; Running)

    It is science fiction but I haven't found any other reference to 'the air' being 'something solid like meat', for example, so I suspect it should be metaphorical. On top of that I'm not familiar with golf, but I've tried to compare it with football...

    Does it mean that the utility guy had the palms of his hands facing each other with the edges of his hands lying on top of the table (initial position); then he began to move them really fast up and down, as if in exasperation (chopping the air and trying to chip a golf ball)?

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: chop the air trying to chip a golf ball

    I would imagine he moved one hand in a way that looked like a golf club chipping a ball, with his hand as the golf club head. That would create a sweeping gesture, moving the problem metaphorically off his desk.

  3. #3
    BobK's Avatar
    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: chop the air trying to chip a golf ball

    ... And if you want to compare the golf shot with football, the main use for the chip shot in football is to scoop the ball over a person in front of you. Sometimes an attacker will chip the ball over the goal-keeper and into the net.

    b

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