Page 1 of 1

A foot long

Posted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:52 pm
by Stevenloan
"Subway is staring down at a menu of scary problems that’s way more than a foot long. The struggling sandwich chain has seen customer traffic plummet a whopping 25 percent over the past five years amid fierce price competition and a slew of scandals that have battered its image, The Post has learned."

Hi everybody! I guess "scary problems that's way more than a foot long" in this short paragraph means "too many scary problems". Am I correct?

Your answers would be highly appreciated.


Re: A foot long

Posted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 3:19 pm
by Erik_Kowal
You've correctly understood part of what the headline writer was intending to convey, but I can see why this wording might be confusing to a non-native speaker.

A footlong is Subway's name for one of its offerings, a kind of sandwich whose length is literally about a foot (12 inches / circa 30 cm.). The headline is punning on the twin connotations of 'way more than a footlong' (meaning 'much more than a mere sandwich') and 'way more than a foot long' (meaning 'much longer/bigger than 12 inches').

Re: A foot long

Posted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:39 pm
by tony h
Building on Erik's excellent reply I wonder whether, with Subway advertising the "footlong" as being "a sandwich being much longer than that offered by their competitors" the phrase is intended to imply "this is a market sector all of which has problems but Subway's problems are more extensive than that of its competitors".

Re: A foot long

Posted: Sat Dec 16, 2017 3:24 am
by Stevenloan
Erik and tony h : Thank you guys very very much.