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    #1

    open (turn on) a safety valve

    Dear teachers,

    Would you tell me whether I am right with my interpretation of the expression in bold in the following sentence?

    Take it easy, Max! You don’t have to play the old Ivy-Leaguer with me! Turn on the safety valve. Blow off some steam! There’s long road to travel yet and we don’t want you cracking up on us. (M. West, “The Ambassador”)

    open (turn on) a safety valve = easy tension, open the floodgates, easing up of the atmosphere,

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V

  1. 5jj's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: open (turn on) a safety valve

    I think you have understood what the writer means, but it would have seemed more logical for him to have turned OFF the safety valve rather than turned it ON, if he was recommending blowing off steam. This appears to be the writer's misuse of words, not your.

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    #3

    Re: open (turn on) a safety valve

    Hi fivejedjon,

    I see what you mean.

    I have seen the following meanings of “turn on”:

    turn on = turn to left or right = shift the position of a turn-cock

    turn on = run on; put in motion; turn loose


    And yet, thank you for your kindness.


    V.

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