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  1. #1
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    Explain put a sitck in the ground

    What does "put a stick in the ground" mean ?

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Explain put a sitck in the ground

    Have you got the context? I have looked around and seen it used in a couple of ways. One was a fuller phrase about putting a stick in the ground and seeing it grow and the other seemed similar to drawing a line in the sand. It's not a phrase that I am familiar with.

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    Re: Explain put a sitck in the ground

    The first time I heard about this phase was in a meeting. A guy was briefing about the progress he made in a project and he said something like "Well, lets find out from different groups what they think and we put a stick in the ground...." I guess it must be something related to setting a deadline on a project or something.....I don't know.

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    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Explain put a sitck in the ground

    It could be something to do with a deadline as a stick can measure time.

  5. #5
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    BobK is offline Harmless drudge
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    Re: Explain put a sitck in the ground

    Quote Originally Posted by chibe_k View Post
    The first time I heard about this phase was in a meeting. A guy was briefing about the progress he made in a project and he said something like "Well, lets find out from different groups what they think and we put a stick in the ground...." I guess it must be something related to setting a deadline on a project or something.....I don't know.
    It sounds, from that, as if it means what they call in the IT world 'set a baselevel' - it's a starting point for one phase of a project. A project will have a number of baselevels, and no advance in the project can be confirmed without running a suite of regression tests (which confirm that the new function does not accidentally compromise a function that was part of the previous baselevel).

    I agree with Tdol though - it's not a phrase that I am familiar with.

    b

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    Re: Explain put a sitck in the ground

    There are three possible meanings:

    1. To give something time <association, sundial>
    2. To let something grow <association, tree>
    3. To end something <association, game>

    I found the following two examples for sense 3. Nothing yet for senses 1. and 2.

    During any project there comes a time to draw a line in the sand and put a stick in the ground and say, 'This is it. We're ready,'... Source

    "They've got to put a stick in the ground and say they're not going to be all things to all people,"... Source

    Hope that helps, at least in some small way.

    All the best.

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    Re: Explain put a sitck in the ground

    That makes sense, to end something. Maybe what the guy meant in the meeting was to collect feedbacks from different groups and draw a conclusion at some point.

    I wish the guy is still around that I could ask him "what exactly do you mean by put a stick.... ?

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    Re: Explain put a sitck in the ground

    Quote Originally Posted by chibe_k View Post
    I wish the guy is still around that I could ask him "what exactly do you mean by put a stick.... ?
    Me, too.

    Correction
    I wish the guy was/were still around so (that) I could ask him, "What exactly do you mean by put a stick in the ground?"

    All the best.
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    Last edited by Casiopea; 04-May-2007 at 06:53.

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    Re: Explain put a sitck in the ground

    Why use past tense in the sentense "I wish the guy was/were still....." ? Can you please explain. Thanks!

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    Re: Explain put a sitck in the ground

    The verb wish has historical baggage. It's compatible with subjunctive were, and at the present time in history it's starting to chum around with indicative was.

    Counterfactual, contrary to fact: I wish he were
    Actual, fact: I wish he was

    Click here: INDICATIVE, SUBJUNCTIVE. The Columbia Guide to Standard American English. 1993

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