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Anonymous

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Dear sir,

I would appreciate if you could explain what this means:
"Dead man walking" as an adjective.

I would appreciate if you could tell me the difference between "now" and "by now" .

TIA
 

Casiopea

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www_dba said:
Dear sir,

I would appreciate if you could explain what this means:
"Dead man walking" as an adjective.

I would appreciate if you could tell me the difference between "now" and "by now" .

TIA

When a prisoner--who is sentenced to die--walks the corridor leading to the room wherein his/her life will be ended, by gas or injection, the prisoner is said to be a dead man walking by the prisoners watching because (a) it announces that the person walking is about to die, and (b) to walk (freely) means, to be free, to get out of prison. The prisoner is 'walking', getting out of prison, but not alive. S/he is a dead man walking.

now means, at this moment, right now.
by now means, up to this moment, before this moment.

EX: She should have called by now. (i.e., by this time)
EX: Call her (right) now.
 

Tdol

Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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In British English, we use 'dead man walking' when someone is about to be in trouble. For instance, if a government minister is in real trouble and we know they're going to have to resign in a few days, then we could call them a 'dead man walking'. ;-)
 
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