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Once I asked my friend 'how's the summer treating you?', he replied 'It's been good because it's been bad.'

What does it mean? Good or bad?

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closed as too localized by Jasper Loy, jwpat7, aedia λ, waiwai933 Jun 15 '12 at 15:48

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I think you should ask your friend. –  Barrie England Jun 15 '12 at 7:03
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Welcome to English.sx! Usually, we don't put a greeting or a "thank you" in our posts. While this might seem strange at first, it is not a sign of lack of politeness, but rather part of our trying to keep everything very concise. Upvoting is the preferred way here to say "thank you" to users who helped you. –  Stephen Jun 15 '12 at 7:16

3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

It sounds like your friend was referring to a silver lining of some sort. It may have been weather-related, as SF. guessed, or it could have been a host of other things.

For example, If he was a student, it might mean:

This term, my professors are really giving me a lot of work!1 But at least I'm learning a lot.2

If he was a business owner, it could mean:

I've been so busy with my business that I haven't had any time off!2 But at least business is good.1

or even:

Business has been off, so I don't have much work coming in2 – but at least I've been able to enjoy the summer!1

So, without any more context, there's really no way to know for sure exactly what he meant.


In the quotes above 1this is "bad", and 2this is "good". Hence, It's been good,2 because it's been bad.1

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That makes a lot of sense! Thanks! –  Esh Jun 15 '12 at 18:14

It really depends on what country, where the emphasis was in the sentence, what your friend's sense of humor is like...

In other words, it means absolutely nothing to me. If I were sitting with someone who said it, I would have to guess based on everything other than the words.

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Just my guess: Low heat tolerance + bad (cold) weather = good summer.

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Or he is selling umbrellas, raincoats, and rubber boots: "bad" (=rainy) weather, good dealings, good summer. –  Stephen Jun 17 '12 at 11:02

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