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  1. #1
    ripley is offline Senior Member
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    Default superhuman chops

    Hi, I'd like to know what superhuman chops mean; thanks; I don't think it's about pork meat, isn't it?

    "superhuman chops and sophisticated compositional abilities"

  2. #2
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    tzfujimino is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: superhuman chops

    Is it 'superhuman karate chops'?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: superhuman chops

    I'm intrigued to know how on earth Gillnetter worked that out!
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: superhuman chops

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillnetter View Post
    The exact words are - "superhuman chops and sophisticated compositional abilities". Sometimes reading text is like understanding a math problem. All parts of the text have to be read before deciding what the meaning is. In this case, the rest of the term is about compositional abilities. Compositional abilities refers to an ability to create a composition - or musical work. At this point we know that the text is concerned with music and not karate. By understanding that "chops" refers to musical talent, we can deduce that the entire text is about music.
    My first instinct when I saw "compositional" was to assume it was about music, but then I realised that the word can refer to art, photography and literature as well. As I have never heard the word "chops" used when referring to music of any kind, I assumed I was wrong.
    Remember - correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing make posts much easier to read.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: superhuman chops

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillnetter View Post
    The exact words are - "superhuman chops and sophisticated compositional abilities". Sometimes reading text is like understanding a math problem. All parts of the text have to be read before deciding what the meaning is. In this case, the rest of the term is about compositional abilities. Compositional abilities refers to an ability to create a composition - or musical work. At this point we know that the text is concerned with music and not karate. By understanding that "chops" refers to musical talent, we can deduce that the entire text is about music.
    We must all be grateful to Gillnetter for this.

    Gillnetter had the background knowledge to enable him/her to respond in this way. Others might have been able to respond if they had had more context.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: superhuman chops

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillnetter View Post
    I was remiss in not pointing out the history of "chops" when used as an expression of talent. It is, of course, slang. As is the case of many words and terms, this usage seems to have originated among Afro-Americans. Musicians may have used it as early as the 1930s or 1940s. It is thought that the word "chops" referred to one's mouth or lips and was probably first used by those who played wind musical instruments (saxophones, trumpets, and such). Presently, it refers to any musical talent that is above average. In addition, this term is starting to be used in other contexts - management chops (an experienced manager), road chops (one who understands how to best live on the road - while traveling from show to show). I have seen it also used as "I have earned my chops", meaning that I have experience and have essentially paid my dues and expect respect based on my knowledge and experience. Based on the various comments concerning this issue I assume that the term, "chops" when used as an expression of talent is an Americanism.
    So it's related to this: chop noun (MOUTH) - definition in British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionary Online, which was my first thought.

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