A weblog by Will Fitzgerald

expression of the day: 'go off piste'

From ‘In pursuit of the G-d shot‘:

Millions of people probably get great coffee every morning with a standard home machine and ground coffee from a supermarket. I was starting to worry that, with a process that has as many variables as pulling an espresso, once you’re daft enough to go off piste, things get monumentally messy in a way only explicable with chaos theory.

To go off piste is to go off the trail (in cross-country skiing, for example), to do something non-standard. A ‘piste’ is apparently the name of the area in which a fencing match is held. Perhaps ‘fence outside the piste’ would be a new metaphor for ‘think outside the box’.

One response to “expression of the day: 'go off piste'

  1. Daniel Lemire March 19, 2008 at 12:56 pm

    Ah. The most common uses of the word piste in French are the landing strip (“piste d’atterissage”) and the ski path (“piste de ski”).

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