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I stumbled on the word tear yet in the following sentence in today's Washington Post article titled "Charlie Sheen radio outburst spurs shutdown of ‘Two and a Half men.’" What does tear (yet) mean here?

CBS and Warner Bros. TV have taken the extraordinary step of scrapping production on the country's most popular comedy series, "Two and a Half Men," for the rest of the season after star Charlie Sheen went on his most breathtaking radio tear yet Thursday.

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Shouldn't that read 'on Thursday'? –  HorusKol Feb 26 '11 at 4:42
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Horuskol, I pasted the above excerpt including the words, ‘tear yet’ from the Washington Post newsletter delivered this morning. It could be 'on Thursday.' But there was no ‘on’ placed before Thursday. –  Yoichi Oishi Feb 26 '11 at 8:42
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3 Answers 3

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Look at it this way:

Charlie Sheen went on his most breathtaking _ _ _ _ yet.

For instance:

Charlie Sheen went on his most breathtaking journey yet.

In this case, "radio tear" is the thing he "went on." (like "journey" in my example) "Radio tear" being, essentially, an outburst on the radio.

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They're referring to the phrase "To go on a tear" (pronounced like 'tear some paper'), which means to go on a spree, sometimes in a violent or passionate manner. I don't believe it's necessarily verbal, but certainly a verbal rant would fit the bill. Synonym phrases would be 'raise hell' or 'cut loose'.

In the context of the sentence, it sounds like Charlie Sheen went on a rant on the radio.

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Morganpdx, Can you tell me what does 'yet' mean here? –  Yoichi Oishi Feb 26 '11 at 8:47
    
@Yoich Oishi: I am not morganpdx, yet I will answer your question. ^_^ Yet opens the possibility of future action invalidating the statement that precedes it. –  RedGrittyBrick Feb 26 '11 at 11:09
    
@Yoichi that's exactly right. @RedGritty - thanks! –  morganpdx Mar 2 '11 at 21:35
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@RedGritty: That's not the sense in which "yet" is being used in this example--here it means "to this point in time". It's saying that the tear that Sheen went on is more breathtaking than any tear that he's gone on before. The quote could be paraphrased as 'CBS and Warner Bros. TV have taken the extraordinary step of scrapping production on the country's most popular comedy series, "Two and a Half Men," for the rest of the season after star Charlie Sheen on Thursday went on the most breathtaking radio tear he's ever gone on.' If you removed "yet" from the original quote, it would mean essentially the same thing, but adding it calls attention to the fact that in the future Sheen might go on even MORE breathtaking tears. @HorusKol: The "on" before "Thursday" is implied.

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