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  1. #1
    rohanasm is offline Newbie
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    Snail Mail is an unexpected party in an envelope.

    I am a bit confused about the meaning of the saying "Snail Mail is an unexpected party in an envelope.", especially the word "party". Is it used here as in eg "3rd party" or rather like "a celebration"? Thank you.

  2. #2
    GoesStation is online now Moderator
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    Re: Snail Mail is an unexpected party in an envelope.

    That is not a saying I've ever heard, nor one I can make sense of. Can you provide more context?
    I am not a teacher.

  3. #3
    rohanasm is offline Newbie
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    Re: Snail Mail is an unexpected party in an envelope.

    It is a quote (by an unknown) - a sort of conclusion at the end of a chapter that talks about the importance of sending letters and cards to people who are not feeling well.

  4. #4
    GoesStation is online now Moderator
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    Re: Snail Mail is an unexpected party in an envelope.

    In that case, it's just a quotation. A phrase has to be in common use to qualify as a saying; it has to be said frequently.

    The author means that the recipient feels like a party has been thrown for them, and it arrived in an envelope.

    I'm quite sure I won't feel that way if I'm ever ill enough to prompt someone to send me a get-well card.
    I am not a teacher.

  5. #5
    Charlie Bernstein's Avatar
    Charlie Bernstein is offline VIP Member
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    Re: Snail Mail is an unexpected party in an envelope.

    Quote Originally Posted by rohanasm View Post
    I am a bit confused about the meaning of the saying "Snail mail is an unexpected party in an envelope.", especially the word "party". Is it used here as in eg "3rd party" or rather like "a celebration"? Thank you.
    Celebration. It means it's fun to get snail mail. Woo-hoo! Party, party, party!
    I'm not a teacher. I speak American English. I've tutored writing at the University of Southern Maine and have done a good deal of copy editing and writing, occasionally for publication.

  6. #6
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: Snail Mail is an unexpected party in an envelope.

    People don't send many letters now, so receiving one is unexpected and pleasant.
    Last edited by emsr2d2; 03-Dec-2017 at 10:42. Reason: Fixed typo

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