I came across a sentence this morning on a page saying "...take social mileage out of his good behaviour...". So what does "social mileage" exactly mean here?
closed as off-topic by MrHen, TrevorD, cornbread ninja 麵包忍者, MετάEd, Kristina Lopez Oct 11 '13 at 13:39
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Mileage is traditionally used to quantify the potential distance a car will travel before it needs some kind of maintenance (e.g. petrol, gas, repairs). It thus represents an abstract value.
The second Oxford definition for 'mileage' is: (thanks Matt Ellen)
This is the sense in which milage is used here.
Social milage refers to the social value or feelings of goodwill towards a brand or company or any other entity (even though it is unlikely to be quantifiable). Its similarity to a vehicular mileage is in the fact that it refers to value that would only be obtained in the future (potential benefit).
In the case of the sentence you read, we can take it to mean that some man has behaved well and earned a sense of goodwill towards him from those around him. He probably hasn't benefited from that sense of goodwill yet but may well in the future.
I think the sentence means good behaviour of a person in society.The total life span of a peron is being measured in mileage.