Lauren Krueger & Matthew David Brozik

Going downhill

In Definally on August 26, 2011 at 10:00 am

Shades of rolling stones gathering no moss! “Is going downhill a good thing or a bad thing?” asks Ray of Queens, NY.

When one says something like, “We were up by five runs in the eighth—it should have been downhill from there!” …the suggestion is that going downhill represents easy and/or quick progress toward one’s goal (presumably after overcoming some initial difficulty).

Yet when one says something like, “Our business—selling used (or, ‘previously mauled’) pet toys—has been going steadily downhill from the start,” he or she is expressing an unfortunate circumstance (an inexorable decline to complete ruin, likely).

How to reconcile the two, then?

It depends on where you start(ed), of course. That is, if you had to go uphill to get where you are (or where you were before things started to go downhill), then going downhill is a good thing. But if you only go downhill, then it’s bad. In other words, you want to be on level ground, ideally (a “level playing field” is desirable, after all), and probably at sea level (as being “underwater” is not a good thing).

Definally. might be going downhill. It’s hard to say.

  1. except in a hurricane, when you don’t want to be at sea level, but rather somewhere uphill, but not too close to falling trees and flying roofs, etc.! or preferably in a non-hurricane-prone location. not to put too fine a point on it. hopefully we won’t all be going down*stream* from here! or up a creek without a paddle, depending on where you are. just helpfully clarifying. you’re welcome.

  2. Ups and downs are complicated, like, when one is downloading updates.

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