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    #1

    Thumbs up What is the meaning of "slip through the cracks"?

    Many dictionaries say slip through the cracks means to not do something through neglect; to not payattention to something, usually because one was busy doing other things.

    But it seems doesn't make sense in these sentences below . I want a explanation (a synonym, in other hands) or their meaning in each sentence below.


    I had a client who was too crazy to be in jail but too well to be in a psychiatric hospital. He slipped through the cracks.

    A friend, as a child, wanted to join a youth group that required the participation of both parents. He lived with his father, but his mother was dead. His request for membership was refused and he slipped through the cracks. Twenty years later he was still bitter, and I understand perfectly.

    An American student, who spoke Portuguese, applied for a student visit to Brazil offered by the Rotary International. The club sponsoring the trip was very pleased with the student's application, but he lived outside the club's zone and there was no such program in the area where the student lived. He was not sent to Brazil. He slipped through the cracks.


    I am thinking of moving houses, but I'm afraid to because I don't want to slip through the cracks.


    Donal Trump on Oregon shooting: 'People are going to slip through the cracks'



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    #2

    Re: What is the meaning of "slip through the cracks"?

    The idiom does not seem to be used properly in the second and third examples you give. I have no idea what the intended meaning is for the fourth.

    So, let's look at the first. There are areas where people are covered by mental health procedures. And there are areas where people are covered by criminal procedures. But the areas do not align perfectly. There are places in between where this person ended up. Too crazy for jail, not crazy enough for a mental hospital. There was a "crack" between the two worlds and he "slipped" through it.

    The final (inasmuch as anyone can tell what Donald Trump is talking about) seems to be about mental health screening and American gun policy. No system of attempting to identify "crazy" people and therefore denying them access to firearms is going to be perfect. For that matter, no system of prohibiting purchase and possession of firearms is going to keep them from the hands of criminals and/or insane people. Any system will have cracks and people will slip through them.
    Last edited by SoothingDave; 12-Apr-2016 at 18:35.

  1. Barb_D's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: What is the meaning of "slip through the cracks"?

    Agreed. The moving house sentence also doesn't appear to use it correctly.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #4

    Re: What is the meaning of "slip through the cracks"?

    With more context it might make sense, but not as a standalone sentence.

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    #5

    Re: What is the meaning of "slip through the cracks"?

    With the moving house sentence, you might slip through the cracks if you couldn't get a mortgage and ended up homeless, but on its own, it doesn't work for me.

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    #6

    Re: What is the meaning of "slip through the cracks"?

    That American student would have had to apply for a student VISA to visit Brazil.

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    #7

    Re: What is the meaning of "slip through the cracks"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tarheel View Post
    That American student would have had to apply for a student VISA to visit Brazil.
    The student would need a student visa to allow him to come to Brazil as a visiting student.
    I am not a teacher.

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    #8

    Re: What is the meaning of "slip through the cracks"?

    Let me see if I got it. I'll give you my understanding through sentences with "slip through the cracks".

    My understanding (correct me if I made mistakes)

    Not suitable for one thing and nor another/ not be going anywhere = I had a client who was too crazy to be in jail but too well to be in a psychiatric hospital. He slipped through the cracks.

    To escape the necessary notice =
    Johnnyslipped through the cracks during basic training due to how quiet and clever he was.

    Not payattention to something =
    Litte details often slip through the cracks.

    Be forgotten by a system =
    Too many young people slip through the cracks in the health system

    Falling behind when everyone else is moving forward =
    A good teacher knows almost immediately when a student is slipping through the cracks. It only takes a few days—or at the most, a couple of weeks—to figure it out.

    I fell and got lost = I tried to be chill but you're so hot that I melted. I fell right through the cracks, now I'm trying to get back. (Lyrics by Jason Mraz's Song - I'm yours)

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    #9

    Re: What is the meaning of "slip through the cracks"?

    Quote Originally Posted by Fotogênicas Brasil View Post
    Let me see if I got it. I'll give you my understanding through sentences with "slip through the cracks".

    My understanding (correct me if I made mistakes)

    Not suitable for one thing and nor another/ not be going anywhere = I had a client who was too crazy to be in jail but too well to be in a psychiatric hospital. He slipped through the cracks. Yes, as this example was given to you.

    No. To escape the necessary notice = Johnnyslipped through the cracks during basic training due to how quiet and clever he was.

    Partially Not payattention to something =
    Little details often slip through the cracks. This would work if the "big" parts of a project were assigned to specific individuals, but everyone thought someone else was responsible for something. Mary worked on part A, Joe on part B, Sam on part C - everyone thought one of the others was working on D, but no one was. D slipped through the cracks.

    Maybe. Be forgotten by a system =
    Too many young people slip through the cracks in the health system. Not really. if someone earned too much money for the healthcare for the poor, but too little to really afford their healthcare, might say that.

    No. Falling behind when everyone else is moving forward =
    A good teacher knows almost immediately when a student is slipping through the cracks. It only takes a few days—or at the most, a couple of weeks—to figure it out.

    I fell and got lost = I tried to be chill but you're so hot that I melted. I fell right through the cracks, now I'm trying to get back. (Lyrics by Jason Mraz's Song - I'm yours)
    You fall/slip through the cracks when you are not noticed, or lost in the system, or forgotten by a system that you NEED. The recruit in basic training doesn't WANT to be noticed. This is not suitable.

    If you need help, but you're too X to qualify for one thing that could help you and too Y to qualify for another thing that could help you, you may slip through the cracks.

    For example:
    • Too much income for government care for the poor, too poor to afford private insurance
    • Too sane to qualify for care for the mentally unstable, but too troubled to thrive in society
    • Not smart enough to qualify for special programs for the gifted, not being a "special needs student" to qualify for special programs for those with learning disabilities.
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

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    #10

    Re: What is the meaning of "slip through the cracks"?

    What, Barb_D ? Eh.... In this sentence "Johnny slipped through the cracks during basic training due to how quiet and clever he was" it doesn't mean Johnny escaped attention from everybody because he was quiet an clever?

    The definition in Urban Dictionary say that "not be noticed".

    I don't understand why you wrote "NO" above.

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