# Thread: Explain put a sitck in the ground

1. ## Explain put a sitck in the ground

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

2. ## 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.

3. ## 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.

4. ## Re: Explain put a sitck in the ground

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

5. ## Re: Explain put a sitck in the ground

Originally Posted by chibe_k
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

6. ## 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.

7. ## 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.... ?

8. ## Re: Explain put a sitck in the ground

Originally Posted by chibe_k
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.
_______________________________

9. ## 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!

10. ## 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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