Monday, 28 January 2008

Tea Less Fashionable

Chinese tea-growers have expressed dismay at the falling into redundancy of the expression, "for all the tea in China", which could typically have been rendered:

I wouldn't help that man for all the tea in China.

The implication being that the possession of all the tea in China being greatly to be desired, such is the bountifulness of tea's abundance therein, and inferentially that the man who wouldn't be helped must be of a character extremely distasteful to he who wouldn't help him. That he would sacrifice such a prodigious reward speaks volumes for his antipathy. In the modern world, it would seem this extraordinary abundance of tea no longer evokes the former desired sense of desire, and consumers are more likely to use a more prosaic variation such as:

I wouldn't help that man if you paid me.

1 comment:

elberry said...

Great Magnetic Fields song on the fantastic '69 Love Songs' triple CD using the tea line.

Sent you an email, just my opinion but have a read when you've a spare 30 secs.